Comparison of Plantar Sensitivity, Dynamic Balance, and Lower Extremity Joint Range of Motion Between Experienced Female Ballet Dancers and Female Non-Dancing Athletes: A Cross-Sectional Study

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Objectives: Ballet dancers may increasingly use plantar sensory feedback to control foot position and movement during dance activities. Balance and joint range of motion (ROM) are important factors in ballet and may be related to plantar sensation in ballet dancers. Data on related functions of female ballet dancers compared to female non-dancing athletes are sparse. The aims of the study were twofold: 1. the relationships between plantar sensitivity and dynamic balance as well as between joint ROM and dynamic balance were determined in experienced female ballet dancers and female non-dancing athletes; and 2. the differences of plantar sensation, joint ROM of the lower limb, and dynamic balance between experienced female ballet dancers and female non-dancing athletes were investigated. Study Design: In this cross-sectional study, 21 subjects (11 experienced female ballet dancers and 10 female non-dancing athletes; median age: 23, range: 11 years; median body height: 1.7 m, range: 0.2 m; median body mass: 59 kg, range: 36 kg) were included. Plantar sensitivity was determined by Semmes-Weinstein monofilaments, active ranges of motion of the hip, knee, and ankle joints were measured using a goniometer and dynamic balance was assessed by the Y-Balance test. Correlations between outcome measures were determined in both groups. Outcome measures were compared between ballet dancers and non-dancing athletes using parametric or non-parametric statistical tests (α = 0.05). Results: For the fifth metatarsal head and the heel, higher correlations between plantar sensitivity and Y-Balance test scores in non-dancing athletes compared to ballet dancers were found. Higher correlations between joint ROM and Y-Balance test scores were determined for certain movements in non-dancing athletes compared to ballet dancers. A significantly lower cutaneous threshold was only found for the fifth metatarsal head in ballet dancers compared to non-ballet dancers (p < 0.05). Range of motion was significantly higher in ballet dancers for almost all movements (p < 0.05). Ballet dancers showed significantly higher normalized scores of the Y-Balance test (p ≤ .001). Conclusions: Results of correlation analyses may indicate that non-dancing athletes increasingly must rely on plantar sensation of the fifth metatarsal head and the heel while maintaining dynamic balance compared to ballet dancers, especially in posterolateral direction of the Y-Balance test. Active joint range of motion of the lower extremity and dynamic balance differ between female ballet dancers and non-dancing athletes. Plantar sensitivity is not different for most of the assessed localizations.
ZeitschriftJournal of Dance Medicine & Science
Seiten (von - bis)238-248
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 12.2021

ID: 6174128



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