Would you be surprised to learn that England’s Royal Ballet troupe goes through an average of 15,000 pairs of pointe shoes each year?
Besides blowing throw shoes doing pointe work, ballet dancers deal with common foot injuries regularly. Whether suffering from a basic ballet injury or a pointe injury, it can lead to damage to the feet, shins, or ankles.
Thinking about enrolling yourself or your kids in ballet classes? Keep reading to learn how you can prevent the most common ballet injuries.
Knee sprains, stress fractures, and patellofemoral pain syndrome are some of the knee injuries ballerinas face. Stress fractures and knee sprains result when dancers hyperextend their knees while on their toes, en pointe.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is the dull, achy pain a dancer feels behind the knee cap due to thinning, softening cartilage.
Foot and Ankle Injuries
Ballerinas spend a lot of time on their toes, doing turns, and jumping. This type of movement can cause sprains and fractures known as dancer’s fracture.
Other common injuries include inflammation of the Achilles tendon which connects your calf muscle to your heel and inflammation of the flexor hallucis tendon which flexes the big toe.
Ballet dancers are known for their posture and back arches. The repeated movement of extending the back sometimes leads to stress fractures in the vertebrae of the lower spine. This condition is called spondylolysis and can be quite painful in the lower back especially during jumps, while arching the back, or lying flat.
Sometimes dubbed “dancer’s hip”, snapping hip syndrome is caused by a tear in the labral or the soft tissue of the hip socket. Tears in this tissue result in pain and stiffness in the hip.
While performing certain ballet movements, a dancer may feel or even hear a snapping sound when tendons or muscles move over the hip joint.
It’s important to do all you can to limit and prevent injuries. Keeping your body in shape is key. Let’s look at some of the things you can do.
- Warm-up before class and performances
- Stay hydrated before and during training
- Build strength in all parts of your body for balance
- Live a healthy lifestyle; eat right
- Do not overwork your body; know your limits
- Always wear the proper shoes and dance attire
Following these tips will limit your chance of injury.
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Don’t End Up With Ballet Injuries
Now that you know the most common ballet injuries and how to prevent them, you are better prepared for when the inevitable happens. Never ignore pain or discomfort. Your body is trying to tell you something.
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