Zumba injuries on the rise

Dec. 8, 2011 at 10:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- U.S. doctors say they are seeing a growing number of patients for injuries related to Zumba fitness classes.

One woman went to a Washington-area emergency room because of severe heel pain, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. It turned out the woman had a potentially serious injury called compartment syndrome, which is caused by high-impact accidents, like being involved in a car crash.

The injury, however, happened during the woman's Zumba class.

"I have seen some interesting things," says David Pontell, the podiatrist who treated the injury. "That was one of them."

One woman said she discovered she had something called snapping hip syndrome through a Zumba class.

"By the end of the class, I was on fire, and not in a 'Hoo-hoo -- I'm hot and sexy!' kind of way," Tonya Green, 32. "It was a salsa movement. I Zumba'd my hip out, real good."

Elizabeth Delasobera, an emergency room attending physician at Georgetown University Hospital, speculates that unlike beginning joggers, who only run two to three times a week for 15 to 20 minutes, people who are new to the Zumba program start "Zumba-ing five days a week."

Zumba is a Latin-inspired dance fitness class with an estimated 12 million participants worldwide.

"We see a lot of ankle strains," says Rajeev Pandarinath, an associate professor at George Washington University's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. "There are a lot of lateral moves in Zumba."

"It blows the paradigm," says Pamela Peekes, a doctor and Discovery Channel medical correspondent. "You could do it naked. You could do it half-naked. You could do it alone. You could do it with 65,000 other people."

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