Common Injuries In Ballet

Sports MedicineSkilled ballet dancers create a beautiful and artistic display of athleticism, but unfortunately are frequent patients of sports medicine professionals. Improper form and fatigue are the two worst enemies of ballet dancers, and are just a couple causes of the following problems.


Ballet dancers use their arms for lifting and graceful expression. This can lead to overuse injuries in rotator cuffs, shoulder impingement, tendonitis or bursitis. Another major cause of arm injuries in this art is from a bad fall, especially onto an outstretched arm. Dancers should work with a skilled trainer who teaches them how to fall properly, in addition to correctly performing positions and movements. He or she must be mindful of anatomy, and be careful not to hyperextend the arms.


Ankles, knees and hips are incredibly prone to injury in ballet, according to sports medicine professionals. Most often this is due to poor technique, such as a turned out foot, or twisting the knee while dancing. Falls and bad landings are also culprits of leg injuries such as torn meniscus, kneecap issues, and rolled or sprained ankles. Shoes that do not fit correctly can lead to foot issues as well. Up to 80% of injuries from ballet are leg injuries.


Improper form can be a ballet dancer’s demise when it comes to his or her spinal health. Overarching of the back and poor lift techniques could cause spasms in the lower back, or vertebrae and disc injury. Don’t forget about the potential for neck injury related to frequent head-turns in the program. Working out the core muscles will help support spinal alignment, and prevent possible lower back injuries.

Ballet dancers must pay special attention to their form and be sure not to over-practice. Fatigue garners sloppiness, and even the tiniest degree of poor technique could result in disastrous damage to the body. If you are interested in or involved in ballet, talk to a sports medicine professional for more tips on safe dancing.

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