Because of their extreme range of motion and high-impact activities, dancers are very susceptible to the same injuries as many high-level athletes. They include:
Ankle and foot injuries
These are the most common injuries in dancers. They include sprains and strains. They usually occur when a dancer rolls an ankle or lands poorly from jumps. Without proper rehabilitation, they can affect a dancer’s range of motion and result in long-lasting pain.
Achilles tendonitis/Sever’s disease
Achilles tendonitis is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which is made up of your two large calf muscles. Sever’s disease, which is more typical in growing adolescents, is when the Achilles tendon grows stronger than the bone to which it is attached. This causes the bone site to become inflamed. Tight calf muscles are sometimes to blame. These are common injuries for dancer who over-train on improper flooring.
When dancers perform repeated jetés or pliés with poor mechanics, they face an increased risk of knee pain. Traumatic knee injuries, like anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears or medial cruciate ligament (MCL) sprains, can happen when landing jumps or twisting the knee. Hypermobility, when a joint stretches farther than normal, can also lead to knee pain.
Snapping hip syndrome
This form of hip pain is usually caused by a tight hip flexor muscle (illiopsoas) or iliotibial band (tissue that connects your outer hip to your outer knee) snapping over the bone of your hip.
This is common in dancers who have weakness in their core muscles, poor mechanics or bad posture. When combined with the increased flexibility required for some dance positions, this can lead to back pain in dancers young or old.
This is a stress fracture in the spine, which is often a result of repeated back bends. Many of the motions and poses dancers use put a lot of stress on the spine. Full recovery from this injury can often take up to three months.
Our physicians and physical therapists know how to diagnose and treat the kinds of injuries that are often found in dancers. On top of treating the injury, they can show the dancer how to prevent them and improve their performance.