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Break-dancers, beware: Study finds big risks

Break-dancers suffer a relatively high rate of injury and many fail to give themselves time to heal, a new study suggests.
Image: Break dancing
About 70 percent of break-dancers say they've suffered an overuse injury. Mario Tama / Getty Images file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Break-dancers suffer a relatively high rate of injury and many fail to give themselves time to heal, a new study suggests.

In interviews with 144 professional and amateur break-dancers, German researchers found that injuries to the spine, knee, wrist, shoulder and ankle were common, especially among professionals.

Not one of the professional breakers had an injury-free history, while only 4 percent of the amateurs did, the researchers report in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Wrist and hand fractures, thighbone fractures, slipped spinal discs and concussions were among the acute injuries study participants reported.

In addition, 70 percent said they'd suffered an overuse injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tenosynovitis, an inflammation of the sheath that surrounds a tendon.

But while injuries were common, many breakers did not give themselves the needed healing time for they returned to dancing. In general, they took a "surprisingly short" break from training, the researchers found — less than six days, on average.

It may not be surprising that a sport that includes head spins and one-arm handstands carries a high injury risk. However, until now there had been no comprehensive studies of break dancing injuries.

In interviews with 144 professional and amateur break-dancers, German researchers found that injuries to the spine, knee, wrist, shoulder and ankle were common, especially among professionals.

Not one of the professional breakers had an injury-free history, while only 4 percent of the amateurs did, the researchers report in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Wrist and hand fractures, thighbone fractures, slipped spinal discs and concussions were among the acute injuries study participants reported.

In addition, 70 percent said they'd suffered an overuse injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tenosynovitis, an inflammation of the sheath that surrounds a tendon.

The bottom line for breakers is that they should be aware of the potential dangers, lead researcher Dr. Max Daniel Kauther, of the University of Duisburg-Essen, told Reuters Health.

It may not be surprising that a sport that includes head spins and one-arm handstands carries a high injury risk. However, until now there had been no comprehensive studies of break dancing injuries.

In interviews with 144 professional and amateur break-dancers, German researchers found that injuries to the spine, knee, wrist, shoulder and ankle were common, especially among professionals.

Not one of the professional breakers had an injury-free history, while only 4 percent of the amateurs did, the researchers report in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. Wrist and hand fractures, thighbone fractures, slipped spinal discs and concussions were among the acute injuries study participants reported.

In addition, 70 percent said they'd suffered an overuse injury, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tenosynovitis, an inflammation of the sheath that surrounds a tendon.