Central School Of Ballet

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Central and the University of Exeter have joined forces to assess bone density and risk of fracture in young athletes

Calendar Posted 24 July 2019

There is increasing interest in assessing bone density, the risk of stress fracture and related injury in athlete populations. Anna Brodrick, Central’s Head of Medical Services, joined forces with the University of Exeter on a research project comparing footballers with ballet dancers. Both athlete populations experience increased bone mass in heel bones as a result of their exercise training regimes. 15 male amateur academy, 25 male professional academy football players and 19 dancers form Central were assessed in the research.

The results showed that ballet dancers experienced fewer signs of increased bone density in their heel bones compared with amateur and professional footballers. The professional footballers showed the most effects of their high impact training regimes, followed by the amateur players (who were also younger) and then the dancers. It was noted that while dancers showed least impact on heel bone density their results are higher than the average population. The study concluded that further research is needed to assess bone vulnerabilities and the risk of injury to young athletes.

Participant organisations:

University of Exeter, Central School of Ballet, Southampton Football Club, South Dartmoor Community College Academy

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