Circus arts is a discipline that is often physically very challenging for the artists. It combines acrobatic elements on the floor and/or in the air with dance, theatre and comedy. The artists perform frequently activities that require a high level of strength, high impact loads and extreme ranges of movement. The workload is often very high, with lots of performances and little time to recover. This makes artists prone to injuries. A recent review showed that only a few studies have focused on the epidemiology of injuries in circus artists. These studies found injury rates ranging from 7.37 to 9.7 per 1000 performances or athlete-exposures (A-Es). A-E is defined as ‘one athlete participating in one practice or competition in which he or she was exposed to the possibility of an athletic injury, regardless of the time associated with that participation.’
Even a smaller number of studies have focused on injuries in circus arts students. In this specific target group, injuries can be highly disadvantageous, because they may lead to physical discomfort, medical treatment, absence from rehearsals and performances, study delay and even drop-out from school. Two studies on injuries included circus arts students. One of these studies reported an injury incidence of 0.3 injuries per 1000 hours. However, this might be an underestimation of the full extent of injury problems in circus students, because only medical attention injuries were taken into account. In sports, a new surveillance method was designed to address methodological challenges involved in injury registration, which was later adapted to record all types of health problems including non-time loss injuries, time loss injuries and illnesses. In comparison with standard methods of injury registration, this approach provides more information on true consequences of injuries over time. Although some athletic groups have been investigated using this new method, no studies have included circus art students. The aim of this study was to use this new method and gain more insight into the amount of health problems (ie, injuries, illnesses and mental health problems), injury incidence rate, injury incidence proportions, anatomical injury location and severity of injuries among circus arts students.
Read the Full Article at BMJ Journals
Written by Janine H Stubbe,Angelo Richardson, and Rogier M van Rijn