Extrinsic and intrinsic risk factors associated with injuries in young dancers aged 8-16 years

Nili Steinberg, Itzhak Siev-Ner, Smadar Peleg, Gali Dar, Youssef Masharawi, Aviva Zeev, Israel Hershkovitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the present study, we tried to determine the association between joint ranges of motion, anatomical anomalies, body structure, dance discipline, and injuries in young female recreational dancers. A group of 1336 non-professional female dancers (age 8-16 years), were screened. The risk factors considered for injuries were: range of motion, body structure, anatomical anomalies, dance technique, and dance discipline. Sixty-one different types of injuries and symptoms were identified and later classified into four major categories: knee injuries, foot or ankle tendinopathy, back injuries, and non- categorized injuries. We found that 569 (42.6%) out of the 1336 screened dancers, were injured.The following factors were found to be associated with injuries (P < 0.05): (a) range of motion (e.g. dancers with hyper hip abduction are more prone to foot or ankle tendinopathies than dancers with hypo range of motion; (b) anatomical anomalies (scoliotic dancers manifested a higher rate of injuries than non-scoliotic dancers); (c) dance technique (dancers with incorrect technique of rolling-in were found to have more injuries than dancers with correct technique); (d) dance discipline (an association between time of practice en pointe and injury was observed); and (e) early age of onset of menarche decreased risk for an injury. No association between body structure and injury was found. Injuries among recreational dancers should not be overlooked, and therefore precautionary steps should be taken to reduce the risk of injury, such as screening for joint range of motion and anatomical anomalies. Certain dance positions (e.g. en pointe) should be practised only when the dancer has already acquired certain physical skills, and these practices should be time controlled.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)485-495
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Anatomical anomalies
  • Dance
  • Dance technique
  • Injuries
  • Joint range of motion

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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