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Risk factors and lower limb injuries of dancers – an explorative pilot study

  • Rationale: Dance as an intense kind of performance is associated with high loads on the musculoskeletal system. In particular, the lower limb is exposed to these high loads, which is reported by a high prevalence. Most dancers are affected by injuries during their careers, most in the lower limb. Typical risk factors for dancers include the compensatory turnout, hypermobility, and core stability. The correlation between these factors and lower limb injuries is not fully understood. Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between lower limb injuries and the risk factors compensated turnout, hypermobility and core stability. Based on these results, hypotheses can be generated for further studies. Methods: This explorative pilot study was conducted at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences. All eligible participants were scheduled for a single research appointment if they fulfilled the inclusion criteria of dance experience (ballet, modern, contemporary or jazz) at least one year with dance lessons of at least 5 hours per week. Parameters for the correlation analysis were (1) core stability, measured by the motor control tests battery proposed by Luomajoki, (2) hypermobility, measured by the Beighton Score (3) compensated turnout, measured by the difference between functional turnout and external rotation of both hips, (4) dance hours per week, (5) dance experience in years, (6) professional dance experience in years and (7) dance style (ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz). These parameters were correlated with the numbers of lower limb injuries. Significance level was set at 90% because of the explorative character of the study with the purpose to generate hypotheses. Results: Sixteen female dancers with different levels of dance experience (mean 11.3 years) and dance lessons per week (mean 17.6 hours) fulfilled the inclusion criteria and participated in this study. Significant correlations with the numbers of lower limb injuries were found at core stability (rs=0.489, p=0.034, medium effect), dance hours per week (rs=0.459, p=0.048, medium effect) and professional dance experience in years (rs=0.396, p=0.093, medium effect). Two dance styles (modern dance: rs=0.388, p=0.101 and contemporary dance: rs=0.385, p=0.104) were close to the significance level. Conclusions: These results show correlations between core stability, dance hours per week, professional dance experience in years and lower limb injuries in dancers. Due to the limitations of a small and heterogeneous sample size as well as the medium effects, these results should be interpreted with caution, but may provide a basis for further research to this topic in the field of dance research and can be helpful in generating research hypotheses.

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Author:Dirk Möller, Camilla Kapitza, Alyona Podkovyrova, Christoff Zalpour
Title (English):Risk factors and lower limb injuries of dancers – an explorative pilot study
Place of publication:Osnabrück
Editor:Dirk Möller
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of Completion:2019
Release Date:2019/07/11
Tag:Dance; Physiotherapy; Risk factors
37th Annual PAMA International Symposium 2019, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
Faculties:Fakultät WiSo
DDC classes:600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Review Status:Veröffentlichte Fassung/Verlagsversion