We are proud to be celebrating more than 30 years of providing medical services to Pittsburgh Ballet Theater.
What some people might forget is that dancers are more than performing artists – they are athletes. The strength, speed, and stamina necessary for a dancer to perform at a high level equal that of any competitive athlete.
The physical characteristics of dancers resemble those of high-level athletes, as do the many dance-related injuries they sustain.
Common Dance Injuries
The majority of dance injuries result from overuse, and are commonly caused by repetitive stress and predisposing factors, like weakness or inflexibility.
Typical overuse injuries to the foot, ankle, and lower leg, include:
- Stress fractures
Causes of dance injuries
Factors that contribute to dance injuries include:
- Strength and flexibility deficits
- Poor conditioning
- Improper management of previous injuries
- Poor technique or nutrition
- Changes in training or floor surface
Preventing Dance Injuries
- Get plenty of rest
- Practice proper nutrition and hydration
- Wear proper fitting shoes to protect against conditions like Jones Fracture and replace them when they begin to show signs of breaking down
- Address injuries early
- Do not dance through pain, as it may be a warning sign of an underlying injury
Athletic trainers and physical therapists at UPMC Sports Medicine want to keep dancers injury free.
Treating dance injuries
Treatment of these injuries include:
- Relative rest
- Pain control, as necessary
- Addressing underlying predisposing factors, such as weakness and inflexibility
- Correcting technique
Services We Offer
- Musculoskeletal screening at the beginning of the dance season to address strength and flexibility deficits
- Correction of technique errors
- Nutrition counseling