Dancing is fun, exciting and requires strength and flexibility. Without the proper skills and dexterity, a dancer can become injured. Whether you love dancing, are a parent of a dancer or are a trainer, it’s important to know the most common injuries and how to prevent them during dance training or live performances.
What Are the Most Common Dance Injuries?
The most common dance injuries involve the lower back, leg, ankle and foot, and occur due to overuse of muscles and joints. The six injuries that are most common in ballet and other forms of dance are:
- Knee injuries
- Hip injuries
- Stress fractures
- Achilles tendonitis
- Ankle impingement
- Arthritis in the foot, ankle, knee or hip
How to Know if Pain Is Due to a Dance Injury
Most of the time, you feel some muscle soreness after an intense dancing session, but this pain goes away after one or two days. However, you may have an injury if your pain requires you to do any of the following:
- Shift your weight from one leg to another
- Stay up at night in pain
- Be delayed at the start of any physical activity
- Reduce your duration of activity because of increased pain
If you experience any of the above, consult your physician or a physical therapist who is familiar with treating dancers.
What Triggers Dance Injuries?
Dancing involves performing repetitive movements for many hours each day, which can increase the risk of injuries. Most dancers have little time to rest and recover from muscle soreness before starting another session, and they usually don’t have an off-season. In some cases, dancers restrict their diets and become dehydrated.
Six Tips for Dance Injury Prevention
You can prevent overuse injuries in dance by following these recommendations:
- Always do warm-up exercises before a performance or training
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Stay hydrated
- Build strength, balance and endurance with cross-training workouts
- Wear the right type of footwear
- Get adequate sleep every night
How to Get Enough Rest to Prevent Injuries
Dancing for several hours a day can lead to a high risk of injury. After an intense training session or performance, it’s best to take the next day off. When you work out for two or three days a week, take two or three days off so your body can recover. This recovery period will help you avoid stress fractures and overuse injuries. At the end of the season, a four-week rest period is helpful for a full recovery.
Learn More About Preventing Dance Injuries
For more details about preventing dance injuries, give the OrthoBethesda team a call today. Our specialists can help you treat and prevent dance injuries. We also have specially trained physical therapists to help you recover quickly from any dance injuries and return to full fitness.