Russell, Jeffrey A.; Kruse, D. W.; Nevill, Alan M.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wyon, Matthew A. (Sage, 2010)
Female ballet dancers require extreme ankle motion, especially plantar flexion, but research about measuring such motion is lacking. The purposes of this study were to determine in a sample of ballet dancers whether non–weight-bearing ankle range of motion is significantly different from the weight-bearing equivalent and whether inclinometric plantar flexion measurement is a suitable substitute for standard plantar flexion goniometry. Fifteen female ballet dancers (5 university, 5 vocational, and 5 professional dancers; age 21 ± 3.0 years) volunteered. Subjects received 5 assessments on 1 ankle: non–weightbearing goniometry dorsiflexion (NDF) and plantar flexion (NPF), weightbearing goniometry in the ballet positions demi-plié (WDF) and en pointe (WPF), and non–weight-bearing plantar flexion inclinometry (IPF). Mean NDF was significantly lower than WDF (17° ± 1.3° vs 30° ± 1.8°, P < .001). NPF (77° ± 2.5°) was significantly lower than both WPF (83° ± 2.2°, P = .01) and IPF (89° ± 1.6°, P < .001), and WPF was significantly lower than IPF (P = .013). Dorsiflexion tended to decrease and plantar flexion tended to increase with increasing ballet proficiency. The authors conclude that assessment of extreme ankle motion in female ballet dancers is challenging, and goniometry and inclinometry appear to measure plantar flexion differently.
Russell, Jeffrey A.; Shave, Ruth M; Kruse, David W.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wyon, Matthew A. (American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, Inc., 2011)
Background: Female ballet dancers require extreme ankle motion. The objective of this study was to quantify the relative contributions of the ankle and various foot joints to extreme plantarflexion (PF) and dorsiflexion (DF) in female ballet dancers using an X-ray superimposition technique and digital graphics software. Materials and Methods: One asymptomatic ankle was studied in each of seven experienced female ballet dancers. Three lateral weightbearing X-rays were taken of each ballet dancer's ankle: en pointe (maximum PF), in neutral position, and in demi-plié (maximum DF). Using graphics software, a subject's three X-ray images were superimposed and the tali were aligned. On each image the tibia, navicular, intermediate cuneiform, and first metatarsal were marked. Positional differences of a bone's line among the three images demonstrated angular movement of the bone in degrees. The neutral position was the reference from which both PF and DF of the bones were calculated. Results: The talocrural joint contributed the most motion of any pair of bones evaluated for both PF and DF, with mean movements of 57.6 ± 5.2 degrees en pointe and 24.6 ± 9.6 degrees in demi-plié. Approximately 70% of total PF and DF were attributable to the talocrural joint, with the remaining 30% coming from motion between adjacent pairs of the studied foot bones. Conclusion: Superimposed X-rays for assessing ankle and foot contributions to the extreme positions required of female ballet dancers offer insight into how these positions are attained that is not available via goniometry. Clinical Relevance: Functional information gained from this study may assist clinicians in assessessing ankle and foot pain in these individuals.
Russell, Jeffrey A.; Kruse, David W.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; McEwan, Islay M.; Wyon, Matthew A. (Wiley, 2010)
Dance is a high performance athletic activity that leads to great numbers of injuries, particularly in the ankle region. One reason for this is the extreme range of ankle motion required of dancers, especially females in classical ballet where the en pointe and demi-pointe positions are common. These positions of maximal plantar flexion produce excessive force on the posterior ankle and may result in impingement, pain, and disability. Os trigonum and protruding lateral talar process are two common and well-documented morphological variations associated with posterior ankle impingement in ballet dancers. Other less well-known conditions, of both bony and soft tissue origins, can also elicit symptoms. This article reviews the anatomical causes of posterior ankle impingement that commonly affect ballet dancers with a view to equipping healthcare professionals for improved effectiveness in diagnosing and treating this pathology in a unique type of athlete. Clin. Anat. 23:613-621, 2010. (c) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Tiemens, Annemiek; van Rijn, Rogier M; Wyon, Matthew A; Redding, Emma; Stubbe, Janine H (Science & Medicine, 2018-06-01)
To explore whether movement quality has influence on heart rate (HR) frequency during the dance-specific aerobic fitness test (DAFT). Thirteen contemporary university dance students (age 19 ± 1.46 yrs) underwent two trials performing the DAFT while wearing a Polar HR monitor (Kempele, Finland). During the first trial, dancers were asked to perform the movements as if they were performing on stage, whereas during the second trial, standardized verbal instructions were given to reduce the quality of movement (e.g., no need to perform technically correct pliés). The variables measured at each trial were HR for all five stages of the DAFT and HR recovery (1 and 2 min after finishing the DAFT), movement quality (MQ) score, and rate of perceived exertion score (RPE). There were significant differences in HR between Trial 1 and Trial 2. For all stages and the resting period, HR was lower during Trial 2 (p<0.001). Also, the RPE score was significantly lower and the MQ score was significantly higher, indicating a poorer performance, during Trial 2 (both p<0.001). The results suggest that DAFT performance with lower movement quality elicits lower HR frequency and RPE during the DAFT. We recommend that specific instructions be given to participants about executing the movement sequence during the DAFT before testing commences. Also, movement quality must be taken into account when interpreting HR results from the DAFT in order to distinguish if a dancer's low HR results from good aerobic fitness or from poor performance of the movement sequence.
Russell, Jeffrey A.; Shave, Ruth M.; Kruse, David W.; Nevill, Alan M.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Wyon, Matthew A. (SAGE Publications, 2011)
Female ballet dancers require extreme ankle motion to attain the demi-plié (weight-bearing full dorsiflexion [DF]) and en pointe (weight-bearing full plantar flexion [PF]) positions of ballet. However, techniques for assessing this amount of motion have not yet received sufficient scientific scrutiny. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine possible differences between weight-bearing goniometric and radiographic ankle range of motion measurements in female ballet dancers. Ankle range of motion in 8 experienced female ballet dancers was assessed by goniometry and 2 radiographic measurement methods. The latter were performed on 3 mediolateral x-rays, in demi-plié, neutral, and en pointe positions; one of them used the same landmarks as goniometry. DF values were not significantly different among the methods, but PF values were (P < .05). Not only was PF of the talocrural joint significantly less than the other 2 measurements (P < .001), PF from the goniometric method applied to the x-rays was significantly less than PF obtained from clinical goniometry (P < .05). These data provide insight into the extreme ankle and foot motion, particularly PF, required in female ballet dancers and suggest that goniometry may not be ideal for assessing ankle range of motion in these individuals. Therefore, further research is needed to standardize how DF and PF are measured in ballet dancers. Level of Evidence: Diagnostic, Level I.
Using electrocardiography and echocardiography, we screened elite men and women ballet dancers for abnormal cardiovascular conditions using an observation design with blinded clinical analysis of cardiac function tests. Fifty-eight (females n=33) elite professional ballet dancers (age: 26.0±5.7 years, body mass index: 19.9±2.2 kg/m2) with no past or present history of cardio vascular disease volunteered. Participants were assessed via a 12-lead electrocardiography and two-dimensional echocardiography for cardiac function. Electrocardiography revealed that 83% of our dancers demonstrated normal axis, while 31% had incomplete right bundle branch block and 17% had sinus bradycardia; none showed any abnormal findings. Findings from the echocardiography were also normal for all participants and comparable to their counterparts in other sports. Significant differences (p<0.05) were detected in almost all studied echocardiographic parameters between males and females. In conclusion, heart function and structure seem to be normal in elite ballet dancers, placing them at low risk for sudden cardiac death and performance-related cardiovascular complications. Larger samples are required to confirm these findings.
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