Ballet Injuries: Considerations, Prevention, and Recoveries
Jan 08 , 2021
Tags - Ballet Injuries
Ballet is a graceful form of dance, as it requires the dancer to be agile, flexible, have strength, control and most importantly balance.
In particular, ballet requires supervised training, constant practice and discipline for better performance.
In fact, ballet dancers usually train for 5 to 40 hours a week, which causes repetitive movements (overuse) and more injuries along with that.
Dancers are more likely to get overuse injuries and wear & tear which get worse over time.
Therefore, it is important to treat these injuries as soon as possible.
Overuse injuries are caused by incorrect technique, muscle imbalance, change in training pace, and improper footwear such as ill fitting shoes or pointy shoes.
To provide some more context, overuse injuries are classified into three:
- Sprain (ligament injury)
- Strain (tissue injury)
In Ballet dancers, overuse injuries are more common compared to acute injuries.
Acute injuries occur suddenly, for example injury due to improper balance.
Acute injuries are categorised into:
Dangers to the Lower Limb
In ballet, the lower limb is used more than any other.
Therefore, the lower limb is more likely to get injured.
Especially female ballet dancers are prone to get ankle, foot, leg, knee, thigh and hip injuries.
For instance, pointe technique is where the female dancer extends the feet adding all the body weight to the pointy toes while moving, which causes injury and damage to the foot.
The Lifting Challenge
Ballet also has a lot of lifting involved in the routine.
Hence, dancers are more likely to develop back injuries.
In particular, male dancers are more likely to develop Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, sprained ankles and head and neck injuries due to lifting.
Following injuries are seen common among Ballet Dancers and they are classified into Overuse injuries and Acute Injuries.
1. Back Injuries
Overuse injuries: Lower back pain, Back stress fracture, Scoliosis, Muscle imbalance, Spondylolisthesis, Pars injury and SIJ dysfunction.
Acute injuries: Muscle injury, Spasm, and Facet joint irritation.
2. Hip Issues
Overuse injuries: Trochanteric bursitis, Iliopsoas tendinopathy, Labral tear and Snapping hip.
Acute injuries: Labral tear, Adductor strain and Hamstring strain.
Overuse injuries: Osgood-Schlatter disease, Patellofemoral pain and Patella tendinopathy.
Acute injuries: Quadriceps strain, Patella dislocation and Meniscus tear.
4. Leg and Ankle
Overuse injuries: Posterior ankle impingement, FHL Tendinopathy, Shin Splints and Sever’s disease.
Acute injuries: Ankle sprain and Gastroc strain.
Overuse injuries: Bunions, Sesamoiditis, MTPJ Inflammation, Stress fracture and Trigger toes.
Acute injuries: Turf toe and Trigger toe.
The best way to prevent ballet injuries is to work on your balance, flexibility, strength and control.
It is also important to maintain a proper diet and eat nutritional meals.
Similarly, warm up and cool down before and after every rehearsal and performance respectively, which stretches the muscles well and reduces the likelihood of injuries.
Moreover, learn ballet from a well trained dancer and perform with supervision as it is important to learn the proper techniques to avoid any injuries.
Further, in Ballet it is vital to have proper fitting shoes that are comfortable (both, ballet flat and pointe shoes) while practising and performing.
At the end of all this, remember, no matter how many injury prevention techniques you use, dancers are bound to get injured at one point.
The recovery process of the injury includes rest, physiotherapy, massage, taping and ultrasound.
So, when injured, it is best to rest well and not to perform until the injury is healed and you are well recovered or the injury may get worse.
To learn more, get in touch with us today.
In the meantime, check our range of Ballet Flats.
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