Health Problems of Professional Ballet Dancers
journal contributionposted on 04.06.2021, 01:56 by Tengiz Verulava, Ketevan Tvalavadze, Revaz Jorbenadze
Ballet is a professional activity that places risky physical and psycho-emotional demands on the human body. The goal of this study was to evaluate health-related problems among ballet dancers. Within the qualitative study, in-depth interviews were conducted with ballet dancers at the State Ballet of Georgia. Participants' mean age was 23.4 ± 3.5 years, the average BMI - 21.2 ± 2.2. Dancers had spent 9.2 ± 7.4 years studying dancing professionally. On average, they spent 8.5 ± 5.8 hours in class and 16.2 ± 11.6 hours in rehearsal. Most injuries were related to ankle/feet (16%), knee (60%), and neck (13%). Common risk factors for incurring pain and injury included overuse (19%), previous injury (11%), and fatigue (11%). Of the injured dancers, 80% chose to seek medical attention. Mostly, they visited traumatologists (40%) and physiotherapists (30%). The biopsychosocial condition of ballet artists is affected by physical workload, high risk of injuries, as well as constant stress. The result suggests high prevalence and recurrence of dance injuries. Ankle/feet, knee and neck are especially risky topological areas for injuries as particularly big pressure is placed on the feet and ankle joints. The majority of respondents sought advice from medical specialists rather than family physicians. It is necessary to prevent injuries and stress through raising awareness. A team of professionals (family physician, orthopedist, psychologist, nutritionist, endocrinologist, physical therapist, nurse) is needed to prevent injuries. Family doctors should pay more attention to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle during the consultation with ballet dancers.