Musculoskeletal Injuries in Dance: A Systematic Review

Nick Allen, William Ribbans, Allan Nevill, Matt Wyon

    Research output: Contribution to JournalReview Articlepeer-review


    Background: Within sport, mitigation of risk of injury through the use of comprehensive specialist sports medicine provision is commonplace. Dance participation, through its athletic nature can also introduce risk of injury, but unlike sport, is not always recognised that specialist medicinal provision will assist in the mitigation of that risk. Objectives: This systematic review has two objectives: to examine the extent of injury in dance participation; and the impact that specialist dance medicine provision has on overall dance injury incidence. Data sources: The review was undertaken using the Medline electronic databases using MeSH terms relating to the framing question. Study Eligibility Criteria and Participants: The study was based on ballet or any forms of artistic dance that had as its focus musculoskeletal injuries, or screening for injury prevention or interventions to reduce musculoskeletal injury. Interventions: The use of specialist dance medicine provision programmes including in-house medical teams, screening and exercise programmes Study appraisal and synthesis methods: As the literature relating to dance injury comprised of observational studies, the GRADE system was utilised. Results: The results of this systematic review reflect those of two previous systematic reviews in that little progress has been made in terms of quality of papers in recent years. On overall injury incidence of 1.33/1000hrs and a reduction in injury from 2.46/1000hrs to 0.84/1000hrs due to the impact of specialist dance medicine provision was calculated. Limitations: PubMed was not utilised as the search required medical subheadings and therefore the exclusion of unpublished work/thesis, poster presentations and abstracts along with chapters from books may reduce the total number of studies available from which evidence and recommendations can be drawn Conclusions and implications of key findings: An overall recommendation was made that, in the absence of stronger evidence, those involved with organising participation in dance consider the value of specialist medical provision. In addition, due to the low level of evidence reviewed, a call for consensus on injury data collection in dance is made to improve the quality of evidence in dance injury literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)252
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2014


    • Dance
    • Sports Injury
    • Injury Surveillance
    • Orthopaedics


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