Most common dance injuries

Dancing is a fun and sociable way to exercise, however, the range of body movements, repetition and speed of movement can lead to injuries, particularly if you are new and learning unfamiliar steps. By being aware of some of the risk factors you can help reduce your risk of injuries

5 most common dance injuries

Neck Strain: Choreography that calls for excessive head movement can easily strain dancers’ neck muscles, especially if dancers do not properly use the full spine when arching the head/neck. Prevention Tip: Lengthen the neck rather than collapse it.


Rotator Cuff Tendonitis and Impingement: Extensive use of the arms (overhead lifts and falls) can lead to tears in upper-arm tendons or even impingement, painful pressure felt in the shoulder when the rotator cuff and scapula rub together as arms are lifted. Prevention Tip: Be aware of the actual landmarks of the shoulder girdle


Lower-Back Strain and Muscle Spasms: Lifting, arching and improper technique can all overwork and strain the lower-back extensor-erector muscles. Dancers with lordosis (a swayed back or lower-back curve) are more prone to spasms. Prevention Tip: I like to use the image of a cummerbund, where the student has a more three-dimensional sense of their abdominal wall.


Snapping Hip Syndrome: Iliotibial (IT) band tightness, weakness along the outside of the hip and lordosis can cause this syndrome. Dancers will experience a snapping rubber-band–like sound in the frontal hip joint, as the IT band glides over the greater trochanter (upper-leg bone) during battement or développé. Prevention Tip: Strengthen the lower abs and all pelvic stabilisers


Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome: This syndrome stems from tight hamstrings and calf muscles, weak quadriceps and repetitive force from normal movement putting pressure on the patella (kneecap), causing the knee-protecting cartilage to lose its shock-absorbing ability. Dancers with high-arched or flat fleet, wide hips and knees that turn in or out are more likely to experience this pain. Prevention Tip: The knee is the victim between the ankle and the hip. Core strength, hip-abductor strength training and IT stretching are key.