Introduction Contemporary dance students are at high risk for injuries; a yearly overall risk of ≥60% with lower-extremity injuries as the most predominant musculoskeletal injuries. Therefore, the objective was to determine whether student characteristics, lower-extremity kinematics, and strength are risk factors for sustaining lower-extremity injuries in preprofessional contemporary dancers.
Materials and methods A prospective cohort study with 45 1 year students of Bachelor Dance and Dance Teacher was set up. At the beginning of the academic year, injury history (only lower-extremity) and student characteristics (age, sex, educational program) were assessed using a questionnaire. Lower-extremity kinematics [single-leg squat(SLS)], strength (countermovement jump) and height and weight were measured during a physical performance test. Substantial lower-extremity injuries (main outcome) during the academic year were defined as any problems leading to moderate/severe reductions in training volume/performance, or complete inability to participate in dance at least once during follow-up as measured with the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center (OSTRC) Questionnaire. Injuries were recorded on a monthly basis using a questionnaire. Analyses on leg-level were performed using generalized estimating equations(GEE) to test the associations between substantial lower-extremity injuries and potential risk factors.
Results The 1 year incidence of lower-extremity injuries was 82.2%. Of these, 51.4% was a substantial lower-extremity injury. Multivariate analyses identified that ankle dorsiflexion during the SLS (OR1.25;95% CI,1.03–1.52) was a risk factor for a substantial lower-extremity injury.
Conclusions The findings indicate that contemporary dance students are at high risk for LE injuries. Therefore, the identified risk factor (ankle dorsiflexion) should be considered for prevention purposes.
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