Investigation of Risk Factors and Characteristics of Dance Injuries

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of the present study was to identify risk factors for the occurrence of sport injuries in dancers related to anthropometric variables, training, and specific dance characteristics.

Design

One-year, retrospective, cross-sectional study.

Setting

26th Dance Festival of Joinville (Brazil), 2008.

Participants

Five hundred dancers (409 women and 91 men) with a mean age of 18.26 ± 4.55 years.

Assessment of Risk Factors

Dancers participating in the 26th Dance Festival of Joinville (Brazil) were interviewed using the Reported Condition Inquiry, which was previously validated and modified for dance. This questionnaire contains questions addressing the anthropometric data of the volunteers and characteristics of injuries that occurred in the past 12 months.

Main Outcome Measures

The data were collected through interviews addressing the occurrence of injuries and respective characteristics. Injury was considered any pain or musculoskeletal condition resulting from training and competition sufficient to alter the normal training routine in terms of form, duration, intensity, or frequency.

Results

A total of 377 injuries (75.40%) of the interviewees reported injuries in the past 12 months. The most affected anatomic segments were the ankle/foot (92 injuries; 28.75%) and thigh/leg (88 injuries; 27.50%) in classical ballet, the thigh/leg (43 injuries; 27.92%) in jazz/contemporary dance, and the knee (22 injuries; 43.14%) in tap/folk dance. The most reported causal mechanisms were dynamic overload and excessive use.

Conclusions

Age and body weight were associated with injury in jazz/contemporary dance. Height was associated with injury in classical ballet and tap/folk dance. Duration of practice was associated with injury in classical ballet and jazz/contemporary dance.

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