Causes of dance injuries and measures to prevent them

December 10, 2016

We all know that dancing is a risky business and injuries often happen. But by learning what causes them will help to prevent or significantly reduce the risk of injuries.

The risk factors we included here is not arranged in any specific order. We will cover few of them today.

 

  1. Faulty technique

As we all know that injuries happen due to combination of several different factors than any single one of the cause, this is an important one. Almost all experts, however, agree without a second thought that faulty technique and poor postural structures are the major cause of injuries. But it is not necessarily true. Alignment problems also have a huge impact on the frequency of injuries most of the dancers and athletes face.

 

Some of the common alignment problem includes;

  • Forward head: The head is misaligned in relation to torso and spine
  • Swayback or lumbar lordosis
  • Protruding ribcage
  • Forward shoulders
  • Straightened knees
  • Pronation and supination

A dancer with alignment problems and faulty techniques is more susceptible to injury than a dancer with good techniques, but with similar alignment problems.

 

  1. Know your anatomical limitations

Each and every dancer has a different and unique body, with different capabilities. Some people are highly flexible and agile. Some may have limited flexibility. Similarly, physical strength also varies from person to person. Brute forcing your body into something that it clearly is incapable of doing will result in injuries, sometimes serious. Knowing your body’s limitation is the key here.

  • Know your hip turnout capacity. One side of your hip may rotate to 55 degrees while the other side only allows you to turn by 40 degrees.
  • Many people have tibial torsion leg. It means that the shin bone is somewhat arched and feet point inward instead of straight forward while standing. This is commonly called pigeon-toed. Dancers should be aware of their leg structures. This helps to minimize injuries.
  • Some dancers are too flexible beyond what human anatomy allows. This may be an underlying genetic condition called joint hypermobility syndrome(JHS). Although flexibility is good for dancers, it can also lead to severe injuries because dancers suffering from JHS can not control the end range of movements in their joints.

 

  1. Natural and environmental factors

Environmental factors also contribute to injuries which are beyond the control of a dancer. Some of the environmental factors include;

  • Temperature: Too hot or too cold environment increase the chance of injuries. Dancers cannot warm properly in a too cold environment. Too much heat causes the loss of water and electrolytes from the body in form of sweat. Dehydration causes muscle cramps, spasm and heat stroke.
  • Floor also play a key role in its contribution in injuring a dancer. The concrete floor is highly discouraged by any dance teacher to use for dancing. Specially constructed wooden floors are recommended for dancing purposes. Similarly, rosins dust used in flooring also pose serious health risk to dancers.

 

  1. Psychological factors

Stress is well known to affect the performance and is the next candidate. It affects the nervous system and changes the outcome of the dance performance. It is also a huge distraction and causes you to lose your concentration. It’s important to cope with mental stress as described here. Leave your emotional baggage at your home.

 

  1. Premature performance

Parents have to be careful while trying to put a child on the stage just for the sake of showing everyone your child’s performance. A lot work has to be put on perfecting the craft necessary to perform in front of a live audience. A dancer should never try to set foot on the stage without much-needed preparation,especially if it is the first time you are performing in front of a crowd. Nervousness and performance anxiety can easily lead to physical injury.

 

  1. The growing child or AGS concern

Rapid growth takes place during adolescence due to the simultaneous release of growth hormones, thyroid hormones and androgen. It is important that parents should be fully aware of such changes. Injuries are common to many young dancers. During this period, a child loses his/her’s flexibility,strength, muscular co-ordination, control and skills. Loss of self-esteem and mental stress can lead to an injury in this period if teachers and parents don’t understand the changes.

 

 



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