OBJECTIVES: To obtain more information about injuries of West End performers. METHODS: A retrospective survey of 269 performers appearing in 20 West End productions (12 dramas and eight musicals). RESULTS: In current productions, 46% of all performers sustained at least one injury for an average of 0.87 injuries per performer. Lower extremity injuries were the most common for dancers (52.2% of injuries) and actors (43.2%) with neck and back injuries the second most common. Sprains and strains were the most common diagnoses. 61% of performers thought that their injuries were preventable. Most performers consulted nonphysician healthcare providers. Factors significantly influencing the risk of injuries for performers include female sex, a history of previous injuries, missed performances due to previous injuries, more physically demanding roles, and performing on raked (angled) stages. CONCLUSION: West End performers commonly sustain injuries. Although primary prevention of most theatrical injuries is not possible, modification of raked stages may reduce the incidence. This study may be helpful to the growing number of healthcare providers who practice performing arts medicine and may stimulate additional concern and research in the medical and theatrical communities about the performance injuries of professionals, amateurs, and theatrical students worldwide.
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