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Influence of Generalized Joint Laxity on Landing Ground Reaction Force in Ballet and Modern Dancers

Conference: 25th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics
Abstract: Generalized joint laxity (GJL) is a condition in which most joints of the body move beyond the accepted normal range of motion. It allows for greater flexibility, which is beneficial to sports such as dance, but can lead to musculoskeletal injuries and decreases in strength. The ability to control landings with strength and stability is key to high level dance performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to evaluate differences in peak ground reaction force (GRF; vertical, medial-lateral, and anterior-posterior), during landing between dancers with and without GJL. Twenty healthy female volunteers with experience in ballet or modern dance were screened for GJL using the Beighton Scale. 10 subjects with GJL (score of 6 or higher) and 10 without GJL (score of 3 or below) were selected for testing. Subjects performed three forward, unshod, single-leg drop landings from a height of 40 cm onto a portable force plate (Bertec Corporation, OH, USA). Peak GRF for each landing was found and averaged for each subject, and for each group. No significant differences were found in peak GRF in any direction (p=0.71). We believe the similarity in peak forces between groups is due to dancers’ training and technique, as dancers are expected to control and soften their landings. GRF provides information about the load placed on the body, but lacks details related to landing technique. Further research describing 3D landing kinematics, joint moments, and muscle activation is required to determine if different landing techniques exist between dancers with and without GJL.
Listed In: Biomechanics,
Tagged In: Dance, drop landing, ground reaction force, joint laxity, landing force

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