Steven J. Karageanes, DO, FAOASM is a performing arts medicine specialist in Livonia, MI. He is special consultant to the board of the International Academy of Dance Medicine and Science, member of Athletes and the Arts, and orthopedic consultant to Wayne State University Maggie Allesee Department of Theater and Dance.
Injuries occur in dance frequently. Numerous studies show that at any given time, 40 to 95 percent of the dancers in a given studio or company are injured. This is not news to anyone. But how many times have you been told your injury is because of "overuse"? Doctors use this term often when dancers have pain that comes without any specific injury.
I think It's time to re-evaluate this word, especially in the dance world. Calling injuries "overuse" may actually be harmful.
In dance, there's little argument that the perfect music with the perfect steps can be transcendent. But too much of a good thing can be harmful. In this case, the music.
Did you know that music may be damaging your hearing without your realizing it?
Manufacturing, military and music industries have struggled with noise-induced hearing loss for years. A 2014 study found a nearly fourfold increase in the rate of NIHL in musicians compared to the general population. Similar rates are seen in construction and factory workers, so these industries have guidelines designed to protect hearing.
But in dance, no such research or standards exist.