Breakdance injuries and overuse syndromes in amateurs and professionals

Am J Sports Med. 2009 Apr;37(4):797-802. doi: 10.1177/0363546508328120. Epub 2009 Feb 9.


Background: Serious injuries due to breakdancing have been presented only as singular case reports to date. So far, there have been no comprehensive studies about injuries in this sport.

Hypothesis: Professional breakdancing might lead to a higher incidence of injuries than amateur training. Wearing safety equipment is correlated with a decreased incidence of injuries and pain.

Study design: Descriptive epidemiology study.

Methods: The retrospective study surveyed 40 breakdance professionals and 104 amateurs by questionnaire.

Results: There were 1665 injuries and 206 overuse syndromes found in 380 588 hours of training, leading to a loss of 10 970.6 training days. Professionals reported significantly (P < .001) more injuries and overuse syndromes with significantly more injuries of the wrist (P < .001), knee (P < .001), hip/thigh (P = .003), ankle/foot (P = .013), and elbow (P = .033). No significant differences were found in the time lost per injury and the time lost per overuse syndrome. Pain occurred most frequently in the region of the wrist, spine, shoulder, and ankle. A negative correlation between protective gear and injuries or frequency of pain could not be shown.

Conclusion: Breakdancing must be considered as a potentially high-risk dancing sport. Even with severe injuries, dancers interrupt training only for limited periods of time.

Clinical relevance: Breakdance injuries and overuse should not be underestimated. Physicians should be aware of the common risks in this highly acrobatic kind of dancing.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Dancing / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protective Clothing / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult