5 Common Injuries Suffered by Dancers

Dancing is a physical activity that is accompanied with a certain level or risk. Dancing is something that needs to be gradually built up from scratch and one cannot simply jump into it expecting to do something they have never tried. Proper warm up and stretching as well as cooling down exercises will need to be performed religiously before and after every session. Injuries can be career threatening to any dancer and it is important to take precautions to prevent them from happening.

Meniscus Knee Tear

Dancing requires a lot of jumping and knee twisting actions accompanied by sudden direction changes. This will place a lot of stresses on the knee, particularly the ligaments and meniscus. A tear in the knee meniscus is one of the most frequent injuries experienced by dancers and it can put you out of action for up to 6 months depending on the severity. It is important to strengthen the leg muscles particularly the knee, thigh and calf to help reduce the burden on the knee.

Ankle sprains

A proper ankle connection is important in dancing. Ankle sprains occur when upon landing from a jump, the outside of the ankle rolls inwards due to a loss of balance. This will cause the ligaments in the ankle to tear. Ankle sprains are painful and will hinder you in many aspects of your daily life. You will be out of action for up to a month.

Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is tendonitis of the Achilles tendon and it occurs due to muscle overuse after repeatedly acting pressure on the calf muscle. It happens most frequently in dancers who place a lot of their weight on the lower body.

Neck strain

Neck strain is a common injury and it happens so frequently because dancers have to move their head throughout a dance and many of them control it incorrectly. Instead of using the spine when they arch their neck, they use the tendons, overusing them.

Muscle cramps

Dance practices and rehearsals can sometimes take a long time and start from early in the morning till late at night. As a result, they are easy victims to muscle cramps due to fatigue and a lack of required electrolytes to replace the ones they lost throughout the day. Sometimes it can happen due to improper warm up exercises.

Dancing is a very physical demanding activity and the risk of injuries is high. New dancers will need to start slow while experienced dancers cannot be complacent and skip the basic warm up and cooling down exercises. Dancers will also need to ensure that they replace their lost fluid to prevent muscle cramps.

Top 6 Most Frequent Occurring Orthopaedic Conditions

Many conditions affect our musculoskeletal system and they require the professional treatment and care from orthopaedic doctors. There are some orthopaedic conditions which are much more common than the others.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury

The main function of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is to reduce movement of the femur on the tibia. If there are excess movement on the tibia, it can cause injuries to the surrounding muscles and ligaments. ACL injuries occur most commonly in high impact sports such as soccer, rugby and basketball where there is a sudden impact on the knee, causing the ACL to rupture or a sudden change of direction, when the foot is still firmly implanted on the ground and the knee attempts to change direction. A tear in the ACL can cause the knee to lose its stability and feel like it is unable to support the body’s weight.

Bursitis

The function of the bursa is to act as a cushion and reduce friction between body tissues. Bursitis occurs when the bursa is inflamed. Bursa is located near the joints such as the knees and elbows. The main causes of bursitis are due to overuse, injuries or infection. Patients who are suffering from bursitis will experience stiffness of joints, pain and swelling.

Meniscus injuries

The meniscus is located on the tibia and its function is to absorb shocks that the knee is experiencing and cushion them. Injuries to the meniscus can occur when there is a sudden twisting motion of the knee or due to wear and tear. Meniscus injuries are often accompanied by other knee ligament injuries such as an ACL tear.

Arthritis

Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint and it can be due to many reasons such as ageing, injuries, overuse or infection. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage is slowly being destroyed and it is a chronic disease.

Fractures

Fractures happen when there is a crack in the bone and can be grouped under open or closed fractures. Our bones are high in compressive strength but poor in tensile or shear strength. As such, when there is a twisting motion such as a fall or abrupt change in motion, our bones can easily crack.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis occurs when there is a loss in bone mass and the bone tissues will slowly be destroyed. Osteoporosis will cause the bones to be weak and prone to fracture. This is usually due to ageing or lack of calcium intake. Areas of high stresses are commonly affected such as the hips and spine.

Above are some of the common orthopaedic conditions that are suffered by many people. Orthopaedic conditions have a huge impact on our lives and thus we must do our best to protect our body from any harm.