Dancesport, also known as competitive Ballroom Dancing, is an exciting leisure activity that comprises of a male and female counterpart. A wide variety of dance competitions are being held all around the globe, ranging from Blackpool Dance Festival (a dancing event open for all) to Inter Varsity Dance Competition (conducted exclusively for university students). All these competitions require a higher level of athleticism on the part of dancers to maintain a high-quality, consistent dance performance over many rounds of a competition.
Common Dancesport Injuries
• An imprecise footwork in dancesport especially when stepping backwards can cause instability.
• The inward tilt can make the ankle to bend outward, causing ankle injuries such as sprains and ankle fractures.
• A tendency to roll the foot in during a turnout position can lead to “hallux valgus and bunion”, a condition that is characterized by severe pain in foot muscles and is more common in individuals with flat feet.
• The explosive and fast footwork while performing numerous moves and the flow of raising and lowering the heel can lead to a strained Achilles tendon (a tendon that connects calf and heel).
• In dancers who over-train or over-perform, the strain of powerful movements can also tear the Achilles tendon.
• Moreover, the two calf muscles in each leg are unnecessarily strained because of the inward tilt of the foot, which can eventually damage ligaments around the muscle.
• Lower limb stress fractures and posterior ankle impingement are also common among dancers due to overuse of tendons and ligaments.
Risk Factors That Expose Dancers To A Wide Range Of Injuries:
• An individual’s body alignment
• Duration of training
• Frequency of performances
• Wearing faulty footwear
• Dancing on hard floors
• Prior history of injury
• Nutritional deficiencies
• Many professional dancers begin dancing at the age of nine or ten, which makes them vulnerable to a wide range of injuries as they age.
Treatment and Rehabilitation
Physiotherapy can play a major role in treating and rehabilitating the dancesport-related injuries. An expert at a physiotherapy clinic will facilitate screening sessions for dancers to help identify injuries and prevent future problems. He or she will work closely with a podiatrist, an exercise physiologist, and a sports physician to design a customized plan for you so that you can recover in a minimal time and resume your physical activity.
Specific supervised training exercises can cure pain and prevent injuries, and help achieve muscles that are mobile and strong enough for explosive, fast, and precise footwork.
Stretching the back of the lower leg makes an excellent exercise to strengthen the calf muscle and ligaments surrounding it. Moreover, it also helps avoid Achilles tendon pain and ankle injuries. This exercise aims at improving the balance between the muscles at the front and at the back of the lower leg.
Ankle sprains can be treated effectively with ice, eccentric strengthening exercises, and stretches. Stability disc or wobble cushion, which is also known as an exercise disc-balance cushion can be used to improve balance and strengthen core stability. Wobble board exercises will also help improve ankle proprioception and ankle strength.
If you’re a dancer and you suspect that you have an injury. Don’t ignore the signs.
Call (08) 9272 7359 and have our expert Physios at Happy Physio take a look at it today!