Various Injuries That Ballet Dancers Often Experience


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Ballet dancers are known to have elegant postures. However, most of them must experience various injuries, both mild and serious. Many psychologists try to understand the factors that make professional ballet dancers suffer as seriously as athletes. Ronald Smith, a professor of psychology at the University of Washington and also the lead author of an Anxiety, Stress, and Coping journal study, said that the injury rate for ballet dancers over an eight-month period was 61%. This is comparable to the level of injury in colliding sports athletes, such as football and wrestling.

Research on injuries to ballet dancers

According to a 1988 study published on Sports Med, stated that hip injuries to ballet dancers were in 7-14.2% of all injuries suffered. And snapping hip syndrome was in 43.8% of all hip injuries. Knee injuries account for 14-20% and more than 50% are peripatellar and retropatellar problems. This includes synovial plica, medial chondromalacia, lateral patella facet syndrome, subluxing patella, and the fat pad syndrome.

The CBI Health Center divides the level of ballet dancer injuries in 3 parts of the body, namely the hands, spine and legs. Injury to the hand is the least common injury, namely with a percentage of 5-15%, spinal cord injury has a percentage of 10-17%, and the biggest injury is a foot injury with a percentage of 65-80%.

Various general injuries to ballet dancers

The following are various information from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding general injuries to ballet and its symptoms:

1. Flexor hallucis longus tendonitis

This is inflammation of the tendon that flexes the big toe. This happens because the tendon is depressed due to relevé (tiptoe), jump, and pointe. Symptoms are pain, tightness, and weakness along the tendon in the arch or behind the inner ankle.

2. Symptomatic os trigonum

This condition indicates a bone cut behind the ankle joint that is pinched when the big toe does support and the ankle is bent down. The symptoms experienced are pain, tightness, and bruising behind the ankle associated with relevé, pointe, and stand on the big toe.

3. Anterior talar impingement

This is a condition when the soft tissue in front of the ankle is pinched with the ankle bent upwards. Symptoms that occur are pain, tightness, pinched sensation in front of the ankles due to plié (ballet base position), jumping and landing again.

4. Sprained joint

This condition results from a rotating joint (bent inward, and most often occurs when the dancer jumps, lands or rotates. The symptoms shown are pain, swelling in the outer ankle, causing instability to move sideways, and sprains are more common if the dancer has experienced a previous sprain.

5. Stress fracture

The effects of repetitive stress can cause weakness in the bones, often not seen through x-rays. This condition is common in the metatarsal (front leg), tarsals (middle leg), tibia, and fibula, and sometimes also occurs in the femur, pelvis and spine. Symptoms that will occur are deep and long-lasting bone pain, associated with a high level of impact activity, this is more common in dancers who have a deficiency of calcium or vitamin D, eating problems, and irregular periods.

6. Kneecap pain

This is a condition in which the kneecap is painful due to pressure on the knee, which is caused by the knees bending, plucking, and jumping. This can make the cartilage behind the knee weaken or harden. Symptoms that occur are pain in the front knee which is aggravated by bending the knee, plié and jumping.

7. Pelvic injury

Some of the causes of this condition include snapping the tendon against the front or side of the hip. This is related to hip activeness, and it is sometimes caused by cartilage that tears the hip socket layer, it is very unlikely that an injury will occur due to a hip dislocation. You will also feel pain when your hips are bent.


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Various Injuries That Ballet Dancers Often Experience
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