The 6 Main Causes of Dance Injuries

Dance Injuries

Dance injury rates are significantly statistically higher than that of other sports. A study by Wolverhampton University found that professional dancers are more likely to suffer injuries than rugby players.

Statistics show that 80 per cent of dancers incur at least one injury a year that affects their ability to perform – compared to a 20 per cent injury rate for rugby or football players. Whilst not a contact sport or explicitly high-impact, dance training is intensively challenging and highly demanding for even the most conditioned and able athlete. Here we look at the six main causative factors that result in dance injury.

1. Anatomical Causes

Natural physical limitations and constraints may limit the development of a perfectly correct technique. Correct technique – beyond being prerequisite for professional success – is a fundamental element of avoiding dance injury. This is evident in the fact that the communist anatomical cause of potential problems and injuries is limitation of turn-outs (external rotation) of the hips. As such it is vital that the dance student and teacher recognise any potential physical limitations early on, so that the dancer may learn to work within their true physical range.

2. Incorrect Technique

When dancers allow their technique to slip – usually due to fatigue – they put themselves at a much higher risk of injury. Commonly this becomes an issue towards the end of a long tour or performance run. Slipping technique is why, typically, injury rates among cast dancers increase throughout the duration of a tour. Quickly learning and performing new, unknown choreography can also create injury issues, as regardless of the ability of the dancer, they have had insufficient time to become accustomed to the movements and fine-tune their technique accordingly.

3. Poor Coaching

As with all sports and athletic disciplines, expert teaching and coaching for the development of technical knowledge is vital. It is the responsibility of an excellent and highly knowledgeable dance teacher to be able to recognise, and react accordingly to, any anatomical weaknesses, physical limitations or onset of injury evident in the dance pupil. Furthermore it is imperative that they correctly relay and instill the fundamentals of correct technique and advise upon supporting lifestyle and cross-training that ensure optimum health, well-being and physical performance of the dancer.

4. The Floor

The floor is an extremely important environmental factor to the health and performance of a dancer. Purpose-built dance floors are vital in rehearsal and performance spaces. Floors that are not built for purpose do not provide sufficient supportive impact. Sprung wood floors support dynamic movement; reinforced, concrete or non-sprung wood floors create unsupportive and unsustainable support for the joints, which is highly detrimental to the physical health of the dancer in the long term. Lack of spring in the floor can produce many injuries, notably foot problems, injuries in the lumbar region of the spine, and in the muscles which are associated with take off and landing – mainly the tibia and metatarsals, which may result in stress fractures.

5. Temperature

Ambient temperature of rehearsal studio and performance space is of utmost performance in avoiding dance injury. Dancers have to take extra care to not get too cold before or after practice in order to avoid muscular injury. A standard advised temperature for a training and performance space is 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and should not be allowed to drop below this range.

6. Excessive Practice

Unavoidably, dancers often adhere to grueling training schedules – a necessary requisite to master the art, and a mainstay of rehearsals for dance productions and tours. Obviously this presents a high risk factor for creating overuse injuries, particularly when a dancer must continue to train at high intensity with an existing injury. Clearly the combination aforementioned factors – excellent physical cardiovascular fitness, diet, training, technique, ability and training environment – greatly reduces the risk of injury under the demanding training schedules of a professional dancer, however dancers at the top of their game still frequently incur significant injury.

By SportsInjuryClinic

What is that Bump on My Heel?

By Tara Hackney for Athletico Physical Therapy

Haglund's Deformity - What's that Bump on my Heel

Our feet literally take us places all day long, and foot pain is a fairly common issue. For some people, the pain is located more in the heel. That heel pain can also lead to the discovery of a bump on the back of the heel.  This could be a condition known as a Haglund’s deformity.


What is a Haglund’s Deformity?

A Haglund’s deformity is a bump located at the back of the heel. This is the location where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bone of the heel. The deformity is an enlargement of the bony prominence. Other common names for this issue include “pump bump” because of the frequency of this condition in women who wear pump-style shoes. The occurrence of this condition is more common in those age 15-30.

What are the causes?

Haglund’s deformity occurs with frequent pressure on the back of the heel, possibly by wearing shoes that are too tight or too stiff. There is also an increased risk of developing this condition if there is extra tightness in the Achilles tendon, or a very high arch in the foot.

Symptoms:

  • A bony bump on back of the heel
  • Pain in the area where your Achilles tendon attaches to the heel
  • Swelling in the back of the heel
  • Redness near the back of the heel
  • Pain with pressure or tight fitting shoes

What is the treatment?

Treatment is focused on relieving pain and decreasing irritation of the heel not necessarily getting rid of the bump. Treatments for the symptoms of Haglund’s deformity include:

  • Wearing open back shoes
  • Icing the bump to reduce swelling
  • Wearing shoe orthotics
  • Wearing heel pads to reduce pressure from shoes
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Stretching of the calf muscles and Achilles tendon

It is also important to note that surgery can be an option for removal of the bony prominence on the heel if it continues to be problematic. Should you discover foot or heel pain, take the first step in developing a treatment plan by clicking the link below to schedule a complimentary injury screening at your nearest Athletico location.

Schedule a Complimentary Injury Screen

Proper Training Shoe Selection; When is Surgery not an Option?; Bone Loss & Osteoporosis

Episode 17.16 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

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Segment One (01:31): Steve and Dr. Cole talk with Perry Miroballi, the Co-Owner of New Balance Fresh Foam 822v3 Trainer, Pisces with Black & Poisonberryfour New Balance Stores, about proper athletic shoe selection; providing video analysis and foot scans to determine pressure points and arch type; the wide variety of sports specific shoes that are now available from New Balance and the advancements in New Balance shoe technology. More than 500 major league baseball players now wear New Balance Shoes and they now make a golf shoe that is only 7 ounces, the lightest shoe in golf.


Segment Two (12:52): Steve and Dr. Cole talk about a wide range of non-surgical options for pain and orthopedic problems and how the art of medicine serves to determine the right approach to treating injuries.


Segment Three (20:08): Steve and Dr. Cole talk with Dr. Chris Stout, Vice President of Research and Data Analytics at ATI Physical therapy. The discussion centers around bone loss,  osteoporosis and calcium deficiency; the importance of proper life style, exercise and nutrition to minimize the effects of bone loss. Dr. Stout is also on faculty of the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He has published over 35 books and been translated into eight languages. He founded a 501(c)(3) to work on international humanitarian projects, and subsequently has won five international humanitarian awards and four additional honorary doctorates.

What is Aquaboom?; Treating ACL and Meniscus Tears; Treating Tendonitis and Tendon Tears

Episode 17.15 with Hosts Steve Kashul and Dr. Brian Cole. Broadcasting on ESPN Chicago 1000 WMVP-AM Radio, Saturdays from 8:30 to 9:00 AM/c.

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Segment One (01:58): Matt Kredich, Executive Director at Tennessee Aquatics,Photos from AQUA BOOM's post Knoxville and USA Swimming; American Swim Coaches Association World Clinic Speaker. Matt describes the Aqua Boom training device for upper and lower body training and rehab using variable and progressive water resistance; converting a pool into a complete gym.


Segment Two (10:29): Dr. Cole and Steve talk about the causes and treatments for ACL and Meniscus tears in elite athletes as well as the general population.

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Segment Three (18:50): Dr. Cole describes the anatomy of tendonitis, the various types of injuries and tendon tears and the various treatment alternatives.

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