ABSTRACT: Previous imaging studies have shown that degenerative disk disease is more common in the competitive female gymnast than in asymptomatic nonathletic people of the same age training to any degree. However, results of exposure-discordant monozygotic and classic twin studies suggest that physical loading specific to occupation and sport has a relatively minor role in disk degeneration, beyond that of upright postures and routine activities of daily living.
Intensive, regular, and prolonged dancing causes strain on the lumbar spine and can trigger or accelerate the development of degenerative diskopathy.
Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.
Forty volunteer female dancers (20 ballet and 20 flamenco) aged between 18 and 31 years (mean = 24.2) underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine. They were compared against a control group of 20 women of the same age. A descriptive analysis was done, and the 2 groups were compared by contingency table analysis using the Pearson chi-square test complemented by an analysis of residuals. Results Nine of the 20 women (45%) in the control group had disk degeneration compared with 13 of the 40 (32.5%) women in the dancer group, with a chi-square of 0.897 (not significant). There were 12 degenerated disks of the 100 explored (12%) in the control group compared with 21 of the 200 explored (10.5%) in the dancer group (chi-square = 0.153; not significant).
Dancing cannot be considered a risk factor for lumbar disk degeneration in women.
The present study indicates that dancing has no negative effect on the development of degenerative diskopathy.
The American journal of sports medicine 06/2009; 37(6):1208-13. · 3.61 Impact Factor