How To Avoid Injury On The Dancefloor
January 18th, 2019 by Elizabeth Radabaugh
Dance requires an extreme amount of strength, endurance, flexibility, and conditioning. With all of these aspects comes a high risk of injury. Here are some common dance injuries and tips to prevent them to ensure safety and satisfaction!
Studies have shown that overuse injuries are most common in dancers, due to putting too much pressure on joints or muscles. Many of these injuries can be found in the following parts of the body.
Hip: Snapping hip syndrome, or dancer’s hip, is described as a snapping sensation when a hip is flexed and extended creating a popping sound and causing pain.
Foot & Ankle: Injuries like a sprained ankle can happen often in the dance community due to improper landing or uncomfortable shoes, causing pain and the potential for torn ligaments.
Knee: Patellofemoral pain syndrome can occur due to excessive training. Look out for pain in or around the kneecap when active or if the kneecap feels tender to the touch.
Tips To Stay Healthy
While these injuries may appear to be common, long-term overuse can lead to more severe injuries affectively leaving dancers no choice but to hang up their shoes and take a permanent break from the stage. In attempt to prevent this from happening, here are some general tips to avoid injury when performing.
Stay hydrated before, during and after class to ensure enough nutrients have been consumed to have energy and strength to perform.
Get a good amount of rest before performing. Dancing five hours a day or more is correlated to increased risk of injury. So after a high-intensity performance, it is recommended to take a day off the next day to fully recover and allow muscles to rest before putting them to use again.
Try out cross training! Core and hip strengthening exercises are recommended to fortify muscles used in dance and to avoid potential injury. Similarly, cardio exercises help build endurance to give more power to a performance without the risk of pain.
Get your body moving before you hit the floor! Warm up and stretch muscles before training or performing to ensure your muscles are loose and aren’t at risk of further stress.
Keep a first aid kit. In the event that injury does occur, it is important to be prepared. A first aid kit should contain an instant cold pack to ice injuries, pre-wrap and athletic tape to stabilize an injury, bandaids, crutches, and a pain reliever to take some pressure off of the person who is hurt.
Along with these tips, dancers should maintain a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle to avoid stress and risk of injury. Stay up to date on common injuries dancers face and look out for warning signs that may lead to pain or too much pressure on a performer. Injuries are avoidable, and pain should not be ignored. Keep these tips in mind the next time you hit the floor.
Casey Eggers is a writer for StarQuest. She loves coffee, music, and running long distance.