This information is being provided to help you to understand some of the more common injuries seen in the dancer population. It is intended to be used only as a resource and should not be employed to self-diagnose or treat. We strongly recommended that you seek medical attention if you are experiencing pain or dysfunction.

Sports injuries can be classified into two types, acute or overuse. Acute injuries usually occur suddenly and are caused by a direct blow, collision, or for internal reasons, for example, as a result of a ligament sprain or torn muscle. Overuse injuries develop gradually due to repetitive strain.


Acute injuries can occur to bones and joints or to soft tissue such as muscles, ligaments or nerves.

  • Fractures: a break in a bone.
  • Periostial contusion: bruising to the periostium or sheath surrounding the bone.
  • Osteochondral fracture: injury to the articular cartilage which protects the ends of bones.
  • Dislocation: occurs when a bone is displaced out of its joint
  • Subluxation: occurs when a bone partially displaces out of the joint.
  • Strain: a tear to a muscle or tendon.Sprain: tear to a ligament
  • Contusion: a direct blow or impact to a muscle.
  • Cramp: occurs when the muscle goes into involuntary spasm.
  • Acute bursitis: inflammation or swelling to a bursa or small sack of fluid found in joints between a tendon and a bone.
  • Neuroplaxia: is an injury to a nerve.
  • Laceration is a cut to the skin.
  • Abrasion is a friction injury to the skin.


  • Stress fracture is a hairline fracture to a bone caused by repetitive strain or overuse.
  • Periostitis is inflammation of the sheath surrounding the bone.
  • Chondromalacia is a softening of the articular cartilage such as occurs under the patella.
  • Synovitis is inflammation of the synovial membrane which holds the lubricating synovial fluid in joints.
  • Osteoarthritis is wear and tear in the joints.
  • Chronic compartment syndrome occurs when a muscle grows too big for the sheath that surrounds it causing pressure and pain.
  • Tendinopathy describes degenerative type injury to tendons.
  • Bursitis or inflammation of the bursa usually occurs gradually.
  • Blisters and Calluses are examples of over use injuries to the skin.

Dancing injuries