The Most Frequent Ballet Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Ballet is a demanding art that requires precision, agility, and extensive practice. These elements, while key to mastering ballet’s beauty, also increase the risk of specific injuries. Dancers, especially those who practice rigorously, often face various physical challenges. Understanding these common injuries and adopting preventive measures can greatly enhance a dancer’s ability to perform and reduce their risk of injury.

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Key Takeaways

  • Gradual Training: Increase dance intensity slowly to avoid stress fractures.
  • Proper Technique: Use the correct form to prevent tendonitis and other strain injuries.
  • Strength and Flexibility: Build core strength and flexibility to reduce the risk of back and hip injuries.

“Why do my feet hurt so much?” – The Plight of Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are tiny cracks in the bone that occur from repetitive force, often from overuse such as jumping repeatedly in ballet. The feet and ankles are particularly susceptible. To avoid these painful injuries, dancers must ensure they gradually increase their training intensity, allow ample rest between sessions, and wear properly fitting shoes that offer good support.

Tendonitis: The Sneaky Culprit of Swelling and Pain

Tendonitis, the inflammation of a tendon, commonly affects ballet dancers in areas like the Achilles tendon. This condition arises from the repetitive strain and overloading of the tendons during dance routines. Preventing tendonitis involves regular stretching, using the correct technique to reduce strain on specific body parts, and incorporating strength training to support the tendons during dance movements.

“Can back pain be due to ballet?” – Understanding Back Strains


Back strains are prevalent among dancers due to the physical demands of ballet, such as lifts and jumps. To minimize the risk of back injuries, dancers should focus on strengthening their core muscles, which support the spine. Additionally, incorporating flexibility training into your routine can improve your range of motion and reduce the stress on your back.

Ankle Sprains: A Common yet Preventable Dance Injury

Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments around the ankle are stretched or torn, a frequent issue for dancers who often land from jumps or pivot sharply. To prevent ankle sprains, dancers should practice proper landing techniques, strengthen the muscles around the ankle, and wear supportive footwear.

Hip Injuries: A Dancer’s Silent Nemesis


The hip is a critical joint in ballet, involved in almost every movement. Injuries here can range from minor strains to severe issues like labral tears. Dancers can avoid hip injuries by ensuring they use proper form, warm up thoroughly before activities, and engage in cross-training to balance the muscles used in ballet.

“Is there something wrong with my knees?” – Recognizing Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is characterized by pain around the kneecap and is often found in ballet dancers who perform frequent knee bends. Keeping the knee aligned over the toes during dance moves and strengthening the quadriceps can help manage and prevent this syndrome.


What is the most common injury in ballet?

Stress fractures in the feet and ankles are very common due to the repetitive impact involved in dance.

How can I prevent ankle sprains in ballet?

Strengthen ankle muscles, practice correct landing techniques, and wear supportive shoes.

Is it normal for my back to hurt after ballet?

While mild soreness can be normal, persistent or severe back pain may indicate a strain or other injury and should be addressed by a professional.


Ballet, while beautiful, demands a lot from its practitioners, exposing them to various injuries. By understanding the common injuries associated with ballet and implementing preventive measures, dancers can protect themselves and extend their careers. Strengthening, proper rest, correct technique, and appropriate gear are your best defenses against these injuries. Staying informed and proactive about your health ensures that you can enjoy dancing for many years to come.