Dance Injury

Dance can be physically demanding and the pressure placed on the foot and ankle can increase the risk of developing an injury. Ballet dancers also have added risk of foot and ankle injury because of specific positions that can add stress to the toes and the ball of the foot.


Common dancer injuries include:

  • Dancer’s Fracture or fifth metatarsal fracture is the result of a bad landing on the outside portion of the foot or twisting the ankle.
  • Lateral Ankle Sprain is a common injury among athletes. This may happen from landing awkwardly from a jump.
  • Bunions (Hallux Valgus) do not usually develop because of dancing but might be worsened by tight-fitting shoes and repetitive irritation to the big toe joint.
  • Stress Fracture may happen from too much repetitive loading (activity) of the foot, which causes the bones to weaken. This may cause pain and swelling.
  • Ankle Impingement Syndrome, may be at the front or back of the ankle and is related to bone structures that pinch the soft tissue when the ankle is pointed in one direction or the other.

Ankle Injury
Usually due to an underlying injury, ankle pain refers to any kind of sudden or worsening discomfort affecting any part of the ankle.

Ankle Sprain
An ankle sprain refers to tearing of the ligaments of the ankle. The most common ankle sprain occurs on the lateral (outside) part of the ankle.

Bone Spurs
Bone spurs (also called osteophytes) are smooth, hard bumps of extra bone that form on the ends of bones.

Fifth Metatarsal Fracture (Jones Fracture)
A Jones fracture occurs in the fifth metatarsal — the long bone on the outside of the foot that connects to the little toe.

Ankle Impingement is a condition where pain is experienced due to compression of the bony or soft tissue structures during a specific range of motion.

Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by repeated strain on the plantar fascia, the ligament that connects the heel bone to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot.

Sesamoid Injury
A sesamoid acts as a pulley to help a tendon flex and curl. A sesamoid injury affects the bone’s ability to provide leverage while walking and jumping.

Sport Injury
A sport injury is a common problem faced by many. Both competitive and recreational play subject the feet to numerous sources of stress and pressure.

Stress Fracture
A stress fracture is a small crack or severe bruising within a bone and is mostly caused by overuse and repetitive activities.

Tendinopathy and Tendonitis
Tendonitis is the resulting inflammation from tendinopathy (or tendinosis), a common overuse injury caused by frequent and long-term excessive compression.


Potential Treatments

Dancers are exposed to a wide range of risk factors for injury. If any of your injuries cause bleeding, severe pain, loss of sensation, or increased weakness, contact a doctor immediately. Other pain due to overuse or mild injuries can be treated by rest and taking prescribed pain relievers. Swelling and pain can also be treated with alternating ice and heat therapy.

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