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Pain Status Monitoring in Adolescent Dancers

Alen Miletic, Radmila Kostic, Ana Bozanic, Durdica Miletic
From: Medical Problems of Performing Artists: Volume 24 Number 3: Page 119 (September 2009)

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Abstract: Various dance techniques and performances have different effects on the biomechanics of the body and may lead to different injury profiles. Few studies have analyzed the risk of injury associated with particular types of dance, especially in adolescents when accelerated growth compounds the risk of injury. Ninety-six female dancers with international competitive dance experience from four Balkan European countries were selected from a population of 347 adolescent dancers for this study. Their average age was 13.8 yrs (range, 12 to 16). The subjects were divided into four groups according to their dance styles: cheerleading, dance show, disco dance, and standard and Latin dance. The first aim of the study was to identify differences between the various dance style groups in body mass index (BMI) and dance sport involvement. According to Wilks test (one-way MANOVA), there was a significant multivariate effect (F = 13.8; p < 0.001) between the four dance groups. The dancers belonging to the disco group started systematic training earlier than the other dancers, the standard and Latin dancers practiced the most intensively, and the show dancers had considerably lower BMI than the disco dancers. The second aim of the study was to define the pain status in 14 body regions for dancers in the various dance styles by monitoring their pain status with the SEFIP questionnaire. The most common locations for pain were the calves (43.7%), knees (32.7%), and ankles (27.2%). According to the X2 test, cheerleading dancers reported a significantly higher frequency of knee injuries, and standard and Latin dancers reported a significantly higher frequency of toe injuries. The specific way in which some dance disciplines are practiced and their dance techniques do induce characteristic injuries.

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