Irish Dancing Injuries – Stress Fractures and Ankle Sprains


Irish dancers are susceptible to lower limb injuries mainly due to the repeated use and stress placed on the lower limbs through rigorous dancing and dance training. Below are a couple of the most common injuries associated with Irish dancing and an outline of how they can be treated. It is always recommended to see a specialist dance therapist when treating a dance injury. As experienced Irish dancer Erin Victoria puts it “Dancers are no strangers to pain. Injuries are as common in the dance world as blisters.”

 

Stress Fracture
These fractures take the form of a small crack in the bone of the foot/ankle or can also be classed as a severe bruise of either bone. As the name suggests, this occurs when the lower limb is repeatedly under the stress caused by the same or a repetitive movement.

There are also other factors which can contribute to the cause of these fractures:

  • Increased training load
  • Inadequate resting periods
  • Poor nutrition (lack of Vitamin D for example)
  • Incorrect technique

Treatment for Stress Fractures involves manual physiotherapy, assessment of biomechanics, technique correction and advice on training, resting and nutrition habits. A specialist dance physiotherapist will always aim to maintain dance and dance training as part of the rehabilitation programme if possible as they understand the demands and scheduling of dancers and their required training.

Ankle Sprains
While common in everyday lives as opposed to just dancers, Ankle Sprains are a common occurrence that can have a debilitating effect on dancers. Again an injury of the lower limb, ankle sprains require rapid treatment to get the dancer back to normal function and routine once again. Such a sprain can be caused for example by an incorrect landing, weak posture or weakened bones/muscles in the lower limb.

Some proved treatment methods for Ankle Sprains are as follows:

  • Proprioception exercises
  • Exercise progression
  • Balance re-education
  • Correct footwear and taping

Call PhysioCare on 015310007 to enquire about any dance injury you may have or click here to contact us. We have appointments from early morning to late in the evening and also Saturday appointments so you can work around your dance training and schedule.

References

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2015). Stress Fractures of the Foot and Ankle. [online] Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00379 [Accessed 15/05/2015]

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. (2015). Sprained Ankle. [online] Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00150 [Accessed 15/05/2015]

Depolo, E. (2009). Irish Dance Ethnic Heritage Festival 50 (edited picture). [online] Available at at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3276038876 [Accessed 15/05/2015]

Victoria, E. (2013). Physical Therapy – An Irish Dancer’s Best Friend. [online] Available at: https://www.diddlyi.com/2013/10/physical-therapy-an-irish-dancers-best-friend/ [Accessed 15/05/2015]