Injuries to dancers. Prevalence, treatment and prevention

Sports Med. 1990 May;9(5):317-22. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199009050-00006.


Studies from the USA and UK indicate that the back, neck and shoulder and the lower limb (particularly the hip, knee, ankle and foot) are the most frequent sites of injury among dancers. Most injuries are soft tissue injuries. Most dancers experience injuries at some time and about half have chronic injuries. Shoulder injuries appear to be caused by frequent or unaccustomed lifting, and are treated by rest and oral anti-inflammatory medication. Back injuries include sprains, prolapsed or herniated intervertebral discs, and spondylolytic stress fractures. Several risk factors, especially training error, have been identified for overuse injuries. Hip injuries include degenerative changes and osteoarthritis, stress fractures, bursitis and damage to the sciatic nerve. The most common foot injury is an anterior lateral ligament sprain, which may lead to permanent instability in the ankle. More soundly based research into the prevalence, diagnosis and treatment of injuries is needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dancing*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / therapy
  • Students
  • Wounds and Injuries* / diagnosis
  • Wounds and Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries* / therapy