Breaking is a young subculture and has its origins in the 1970s. Therefore, there has been little scientific research in this field. In the early and mid-80s there was a boom in breaking as it increased in popularity through the media. At this time, a lot of research, mainly case reports, letters to the editor, and smaller series of articles concerning injuries, was conducted.

Norman et al (1984) published the first article about “Injuries from break dancing.” in The American Family Physician Journal. The interest in breaking then faded away for a while and became popular again in the 1990s. Also, the interest in researching the issue returned. Since 2000 a few scientific projects concerning breaking have been conducted.

The milestones have been placed by Kauther et al, Cho et al. and Ojofeitimi et al. Kauther et al (2009) published the paper “Breakdance Injuries and Overuse Syndromes in Amateurs and Professionals” in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, Cho et al (2009) published “Musculoskeletal injuries in break-dancers” in Injury and Ojofeitimi et al (2012) “Injury incidence in hip hop dance” in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

Until then, in literature case reports, letters to the editor and smaller series about breaking injuries have existed. Nevertheless, the evidence based on scientific literature is little and information is limited.

Nowadays researchers have a newfound interest to research urban dance. Two new research institutions concerning Breaking and Health have been established.

Urban Dance Health was founded 2012 by Sophie Manuela Lindner (Bgirl Sophiela). Under the direction of Christopher-Marc Gordon and the CIT Research Team, Urban Dance Health has conducted two scientific, clinical studies about a self-help therapy method with a total of 141 bboys. In September 2015 the paper “Self-help Treatment with a Myofascial Manipulation Tool“  was presented at the International Fascia Research Congress in Washington DC and it received the 3rd prize for best poster presentation.

Project Breakalign was founded in 2013 by Nefeli Tsiouti (Bgirl sMash). The project focuses on injury reduction for breakers. In October 2016 Project Breakalign was represented at dance-medicine congresses such as International Association for Dance Medicine and Science IADMS with the paper “Evaluating the relationship between fatigue, pressure and weight distribution on the upper limb in breakers”.

The rate of participation in breaking is constantly increasing. Therefore, it is important for medical research to continue investigating for the health of urban dancers.




Cho CH, Song KS, Min BW, Lee SM, Chang HW, Eum DS. Musculoskeletal injuries in break-dancers. Injury. 2009;40(11):1207-11.

Gordon CM, Lindner SM, Birbaumer N, Montoya P, Andrasik F. Self-help Treatment with a Myofascial Manipulation Tool. Fascia Research IV, Washington DC. 2015.

Kauther MD, Wedemeyer C, Wegner A, Kauther KM, Knoch M. Breakdance Injuries and Overuse Syndromes in Amateurs and Professionals. Am J Sports Med. 2009;37(4):797-802.

Ojofeitimi S, Bronner S, Woo H. Injury incidence in hip hop dance. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2012;22(3):347-55.

Norman RA, Grodin MA. Injuries from break dancing. American family physician. 1984;30(4):109.

Tsiouti, N., Constantinou, T., Philip, K., Sanchez, E., & Paton, B. (2016). Evaluating the relationship between fatigue, pressure and weight distribution on the upper limb in breakers. Manuscript submitted for presentation at International Association for Dance Medicine and Science.








Sophie Manuela ‚Sophiela‘ Lindner is a sports physiotherapist and Bgirl. Since 2007 she is  active in the Breaking scene. With her bgirl crew Skill Sisters she represented Germany at the international Bgirl Battle at Battle of the Year 2015.

In order to share dance-medical knowledge to urban dancers, Sophie established ‚Urban Dance Health‘ in 2012. As a physiotherapist specializing on dancers, Sophie regularly gives Health Workshops, Health Check-Ups and Health care for professional urban dancers, including the Red Bull BC One All Stars and the Red Bull Flying Illusion Company.

Today she is working as a physiotherapist at the Haid Gesundheitswerkstatt, a clinic specialized on myoreflextherapy, dancers, musicians and chronic pain outpatients, and as an associate researcher at the CIT Research Institute in Stuttgart.

Get Sophie’s full CV here.