Ballet and Sports Jumping Injuries Can Be Prevented By Education and Your Ability To Concentrate
Posted Aug 24 2008 9:57pm
Most sports or ballet jumping injuries result in ankle sprains or knee injuries. Ballet well taught, will prevent injuries through the proper use of turnout and placement to support posture and changes of direction. In sports, athletes are coached to keep their knees lined up under their hip joints, but in the guidelines I found, there is no mention of how the feet are aligned, or placed on the floor or ground.
The ankle joint is a hinge joint, and is actually three joints. Your two 'shin bones', the tibia and fibula join to the the talus, the foot bone, and also to the heel bone.
This allows for flexing and stretching your foot, for keeping the foot flat on the floor while the leg angles, and also for ankle rotations.
In ballet, and many sports, the strength of the intrinsic foot muscles - the muscles exclusively in your feet, is the buffer against strains in the calf muscles. The calf and leg muscles have to work harder to control the ankle if the foot muscles are underdeveloped. However, the calf and leg muscles cannot control the ankle and foot movements as well as strong foot muscles can.
You could say that is an out-sourced job. Control is best, locally, in the feet. Athletes have the challenge of uneven ground to deal with as well.
To dancers working in pointe shoes, the sole of the shoe presents uneven ground. Some professional dancers file down the edges of the leather sole so that it is more flush to the floor. But unlike a new pointe student, they have the strength in their intrinsic foot muscles to make up for the loss of the sole support. In other words, I do not recommend this for novice pointe work students - it is better to work on achieving new strength and balance in standing in pointe shoes (on flat).
Occasionally, also, the talus bone is damaged from a jumping injury. The ankle may be sprained, and the talus bone can suffer a compression fracture, easily, on the corner areas. This can go undetected.
Dancers have turnout to control stresses on knee and ankle joints. They also have the foot muscles to buffer landings. Athletes have training routines also. But all of us must rely on our ability to concentrate, and build strength for muscle control to avoid jumping injuries.
Here is a source of information that teaches the finer details of injury prevention.