dance injuries

Common injuries in dance

Tripping over your foot, dashing your pinky into a door, falling in a playground, or twisting an ankle all these conditions have just one thing in common: one ends up injured at the end. Avoiding injuries might be inevitable at any age, and every injury scar comes with a story in a country.

Dancing remains to be people’s top preference when it comes to staying healthy or adding a new activity to their routine. Dancing is the best aerobic activity and quite a suitable replacement for running. It strengthens your heart and lungs along with the muscles trained during dancing. It wouldn’t be wrong to say dancing for weight loss or to train yourself to stay healthy is very different from professional dancing. 

Professional dancers are the ones who dance and make a living out of it. They train and rehearse to make their shows perfect for the audience. There are different dance forms, hip hop, Ballet, Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, and more, but all of these have in common the amount of hard work that goes into their rehearsal by the dancers. Their effortless and flawless performances are backed by a lot of strength and stamina, which they trained themselves for. And all the efforts they put behind the scenes shows in the performances and their health, but not very positively. In the long run, all this takes a toll on the dancer’s mental and physical health. Mental health issues may not be evident to everyone but to their family and friends, but the physical health problems commonly manifest into injuries.

According to a research, a dancer, on average, gets 196 injuries corresponding to 1.4 per 1000 hours of dance. There is a certain set of injuries that are common for dancers. Here we have a list of those.

  •  Dancer’s Hip 

Snapping hip syndrome, also known as a dancer’s hip, is a condition in which you hear or feel a popping or a snapping sound in your hip while swinging your legs, jogging, walking, or getting up from a chair. Although hip snapping is usually painless and harmless, it can be unpleasant and irritating for dancers. Bursitis, painful swelling in sacs that cushion the hip joint, can result from breaking the hip in some circumstances.

dance injuries
  • Achilles Tendonitis 

Achilles tendonitis is a frequent ailment caused by irritation and inflammation of the long tendon that goes down the back of the lower leg. Because Achilles is active during many foot movements in Ballet, Kathak, or even hip-hop, this overuse injury is widespread in the dancer’s community, especially those who practice an incorrect technique or over train.

dance injuries

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is characterised by discomfort at the front of the knee, around the kneecap. It is more frequent in persons who participate in activities that entail running and leaping and is sometimes referred to as “runner’s knee.” Dancers’ knees get affected by so many postures that they need to perform, like the aramandi pose in Kathak and turnouts in Ballet.

dance injuries

The syndrome is triggered due to irritation of the median nerve in our hands. A prominent cause of Carpal tunnel syndrome is highly repeated hand or finger activities. Inflammation of the flexor tendons of the wrist might put pressure on the median nerve within the tunnel. This pressure impairs the nerve’s capacity to operate, resulting in discomfort, numbness, and tingling in the thumb and fingers. There are a lot of hand gestures in kathak and some frequent handstands in hip-hop that can cause this condition in dancers.

dance injuries
  • Stress fractures 

Stress fractures often develop gradually over days to weeks. Stress fractures are progressive discomfort following exertion, soreness, a limp, and edema.  Occasionally, X-rays and MRIs X-rays are required for diagnosis. Dancers commonly suffer from stress fractures. Repetitive pressure on the foot with dance may result in bone deterioration and a stress fracture. Bone has the potential to strengthen itself in reaction to external forces, but in this condition, it fails to do so.

Preventive measures for dancers.

  • Cross-train to increase strength and endurance in all areas of your body.

  • Always wear appropriate gear for the activity.

  • Eat properly and remain hydrated throughout the session.

  • Rest well and avoid overtraining.

  • Warm up before any workout or performance.

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and become connected with your body.

  • If you experience pain over 48 hours, visit a doctor.

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Written By

Kanak Tiwari

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