29Oct, 2019

Common Knee Pain in Dancers

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Four Common Knee Problems for Dancers As part of “The Healthy Dancer” Fall 2019, please contact us if you want a copy sent to your dance organization, studio, or team. Dancers train for the perfect splits, amazing turnout, powerful jumps, high kicks, and quick turns making knee pain common for dancers. Some knee injuries can be very serious and require medical intervention. Other knee problems can be managed or avoided with proper technique and training. Hyperextension Knee hyperextension occurs when the knees pass straight and begin to bend the other direction. This is common practice for dancers because it can make for longer, cleaner lines, however, it can cause strain and injury.  Dancers should first focus on proper technique without gripping the quadriceps muscles. Think of lengthening instead of locking the knees. Remember that each body is different and it is important to find your healthy neutral. Over Turn-out Forcing turn-out will apply pressure on your inner knees. Focus on hip flexibility. Make sure you are not rolling in on your feet and that your knees are over your toes when you plie or land a jump. When you are not dancing, do not walk around with your legs turned out ( Be sure you are not walking like a duck.) Falls This pain will be immediate. Any  serious fall should be iced immediately and examined by a professional for proper diagnosis to rule out meniscus and ligament tears that may require surgery, especially if there was twisting, overextension, or a popping sound. You may need to take time off for healing.To avoid falls, train at your level and takes breaks when needed to avoid exhaustion. If choreography requires falling onto knees, wear knee pads if possible. Imbalanced Muscles Muscle imbalance can cause knee pain anywhere around the knee, but is most likely to cause patellofemoral pain just below the knee cap. This pain will occur overtime and worsen with exercise and is caused by over developed quads and overstretched hamstrings . Be sure to stretch quads and hip flexors in a parallel stance daily.  
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1May, 2019

Work vs. Posture for Rock Climbers

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Do you ever look outside in the middle of a work day, admire the beautiful warm weather, and wish that you could leave to go climb? We do, too. The bad news is that your job could be affecting more than just your climbing schedule. Many American jobs are computer-based and take a huge toll on our posture. We sit with our shoulders hunched, neck extended forward, and back muscles disengaged. Without correcting this posture, the shoulder is no longer situated appropriately in the joint. Therefore, when we reach during […]
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27Feb, 2019

Golfer’s Elbow

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Most of the muscles that flex your wrist are attached to a bony bump on the inside of your elbow called the “medial epicondyle.”  Sometimes, through injury or overuse, the site where these muscles originate can become irritated or inflamed. This condition is called “medial epicondylitis”, or “golfer’s elbow.”   Although the condition is named “golfer’s elbow,” over 90% of those affected are not even athletes, much less golfers.  Nonetheless, the condition is more common in certain sports, especially golf, throwing, bowling, football, archery, and weight lifting.  Occupations that require […]
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27Feb, 2019

Lumbar Stenosis

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The term stenosis means “narrowing” of a tube or opening.  Spinal stenosis means that the tube surrounding your spinal cord and nerve roots has become too small, and your nerves are being compressed.  Stenosis can arise in different ways. Sometimes, people are born with a spinal canal that is too small. Other times, the canal may have been narrowed by surgery or conditions like disc bulges.  Most commonly, spinal stenosis arises from chronic arthritic changes that narrow the canal. This type of stenosis usually develops slowly over a long period […]
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27Feb, 2019

Low Back Sprain/Strain

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Your “lumbar spine”, or low back, is made up of five bones stacked on top of each other with a shock-absorbing disc between each level.  Your low back relies on muscles and ligaments for support. “Sprains” and “strains” are the result of these tissues being stretched too hard or too far, much like a rope that frays when it is stretched beyond its normal capacity.  The term “sprain” means that the tough, durable ligaments that hold your bones together have been damaged, while “strain” means that your muscles or tendons […]
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27Feb, 2019

Lumbar Arthritis

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Your lumbar spine (low back) is made up of 5 individual vertebrae stacked on top of a bone called the “sacrum”.  To allow for flexibility and movement, there is a cushion or “disc” in between each level. As we age, these discs can wear and become thinner over time.  This leads to additional changes, including bone spurs and narrowing of the opening where your nerves exit your spine. This process is called “lumbar spondylosis”, or simply, “arthritis”.  This problem most commonly involves the vertebra at the very base of your […]
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27Feb, 2019

Low Back Stiffness

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Low back pain affects 80% of the population at some point in their life and one-third of the population on a yearly basis. One of the most common causes of low back pain comes from a slightly misaligned or restricted joint in your spine. Your lower back is made up of 5 bones stacked on top of each other with a soft “disc” between each segment to allow for flexibility. Normally, each joint in your spine should move freely and independently. Our examination of your spine has shown that one […]
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27Feb, 2019

Sciatic

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Your nervous system is basically a big electrical circuit. Your spinal cord transmits all of the electrical nerve impulses between your brain and lower back. From there, individual nerves emerge from your spine then travel to supply sensation and movement to a specific area of your buttock, legs and/or feet. This allows you to move and feel sensations like touch, heat, cold and pain. Anything that interferes with this transmission can cause problems. You have been diagnosed with a “Lumbar Radiculopathy”. This means that one or more of the nerves […]
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27Feb, 2019

Low Back Disc Bulge or Herniation

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Your spine consists of 24 individual vertebrae stacked on top of each other.  Flexible cushions called “discs” live between each set of vertebrae. A disc is made up of two basic components.  The inner disc, called the “nucleus”, is like a ball of jelly about the size of a marble. This jelly is held in place by the outer part of the disc called the “annulus”, which is wrapped around the inner nucleus much like a ribbon wrapping around your finger.  The term lumbar disc lesion means that your disc […]
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27Feb, 2019

Poor Posture

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Your posture plays an important role in your overall health.  Poor posture leads to chronic strain and discomfort. “Upper crossed syndrome” describes poor posture that results from excessive tightness in your shoulders and chest with weakness in your neck and mid-back.  This combination forces your shoulders to roll inward and your head to project forward. To help understand how upper crossed syndrome causes trouble, think of your spine as a telephone pole and your head as a bowling ball that sits on top.  When the bowling ball is positioned directly […]
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