The Beauty of Dance Comes at a Cost
The beauty of dance comes from grace ease or flow in movement, usually only found in hypermobile people. Hypermobile people appear weightless and effortless whichever sport they choose, once they master how to engage the core and train their proprioceptors to know where their limbs on in space, often a challenge of hypermobile children. Dancers are one of the toughest athletes and endure long days of training or dancing.
The most common injuries in dance are overuse injuries. Most dancers, if not all, have some degree of hypermobility or are extremely flexible. This flexibility comes from the ligaments surrounding the joint, creating instability. This instability creates an imbalance in the surrounding muscles and creates a ripple effect into the fascia. Under constant load ( repetitive pounding, jumping, and lifting) this imbalance can produce pain, injuries, and long-term dysfunction.
Some common dance injuries are:
- Hip injuries: snapping hip syndrome, labral tears, hip flexor tendonitis, hip bursitis and sacroiliac joint dysfunction
- Concussion – falls are common in dance and can affect balance and performance
- Depending on the location of the inguinal ligament: the restriction can create pain and loss of range of motion (structural)
- Foot and ankle injury: trigger toe and ankle impingement
- Knee injuries: patellofemoral syndrome
- Stress fractures: metatarsals, tibia, sesamoids and lumbar spine
Why do dance injuries happen?
One of the primary reasons for injury is the lack of emphasis put on recovery, active recovery and rest. Did you know that after you have a concussion, you are more likely to fall or have a lower-body injury, strain or tear?
The body cannot continually meet the extreme physical demands a dancer requires to achieve excellence. The repetitive movement, jumping, rotation of the spine can create lines of tension in the fascia, the hypermobility of joints already has the muscles and fascia overloaded. This imbalance in the muscles can lead to muscles pulls, tears and weakness in the foundation.
Dance Injury Prevention
How to Prevent Dance Injuries:
The majority of injuries can be prevented by this simple recipe:
- Hydration, drinking 4 liters or 125 ounces a day drinking all day long, sipping is the best way to absorb and utilize the water along with electrolytes or trace minerals. No sugar or chemical drinks.
- Rest is critical to restore and replenish the body 8 to 12 hours a night.
- Nutrition – food is fuel for the muscles, fascia, and brain don’t deplete your body
- Footwear – changed out every three months
- Get your body prepared to move. Warm up with gentle movements open up the body.
- Create a schedule for fascia therapy, physical therapy, and athletic therapy regardless of where you have pain or stiffness.
Change it up
The fascia, muscles, and brain can get bored with the same movements. Create new neural networks in the brain and new fascia fibers with new movements. Pilates, yin yoga or stability based yoga, increase cardio with biking, spin, swimming. I don’t recommend running as that can add more compression and force on your feet. They need rest also.
Dance Injury Treatment
Should I ice or heat after a dance injury?
Acute injuries, it’s best to apply ice first to reduce swelling and inflammation. Ice 10 minutes out of every 30 minutes for the first day. Then switch to 10 minutes every hour for the second. Keep applying ice if there is pain and swelling. You can change to ice and heat, 10 minutes ice, 10 minutes heat wait 2 hours and repeat. Always warm up the muscles before you train or dance to prevent injury.
What are my treatment options for a dance injury?
- Lymphatic Therapy
- Fascia Therapy
- Fascia Stretching
- Medication as necessary
- Physical Therapy
What every dancer should know.
Build your team of professionals to help you recover from exhaustion, injury and to prevent injuries.
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