The Effects of Floor Incline on Lower Extremity Biomechanics During Unilateral Landing From a Jump in Dancers

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Retrospective studies have suggested that dancers performing on inclined (“raked”) stages have increased injury risk. One study suggests that biomechanical differences exist between flat and inclined surfaces during bilateral landings; however, no studies have examined whether such differences exist during unilateral landings. In addition, little is known regarding potential gender differences in landing mechanics of dancers. Professional dancers (N = 41; 14 male, 27 female) performed unilateral drop jumps from a 30 cm platform onto flat and inclined surfaces while extremity joint angles and moments were identified and analyzed. There were significant joint angle and moment effects due to the inclined flooring. Women had significantly decreased peak ankle dorsiflexion and hip adduction moment compared with men. Findings of the current study suggest that unilateral landings on inclined stages create measurable changes in lower extremity biomechanical variables. These findings provide a preliminary biomechanical rationale for differences in injury rates found in observational studies of raked stages.

Evangelos Pappas is with the Division of Physical Therapy, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY. Karl F. Orishimo and Ian Kremenic are with the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma, New York, NY. Marijeanne Liederbach is with the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases, New York, NY. Marshall Hagins (Corresponding Author) is with the Division of Physical Therapy, Long Island University, Brooklyn, NY.