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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2Jan, 2019

IT Band Syndrome

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What is IT Band Syndrome? The iliotibial band, or more commonly known as the IT band, starts at the outside of the pelvis near the hip and runs on the outside of the thigh down to just below the knee.  When it gets irritated through dancing, running, and jumping it can appear as lateral (on the outside) knee pain and sometimes as hip pain.  This irritation is called iliotibial band syndrome or ITBS.  This is an overuse injury and is more common in high intensity dance techniques that do not require turning out. IT Band Syndrome Exercises and Advice Focus on strengthening the gluteal muscles with clam shell and glute bridges Use ice to help with the pain Foam roll your tensor fasciae latae, IT band, quads, and hamstrings Apply kinesiology tape to the knee and lateral leg during exercise to support the muscles and soft tissue and prevent from moving improperly Muscle work to the IT band and surrounding muscles can reduce pain and prevent future problems  Rest  Modify activity to avoid what causes pain Treatment Options fro IT Band Syndrome Adjustments to the pelvis, hips, and ankles Strength training to ankles, glutes, hips, and core Assisted stretching Deep muscle work like Active Release, Myofascial Release, Post Isometric Relaxation Interferential Electrical Stimulation Dance Technique Analysis Take Home Tips Treat early to avoiding a more serious injury Ice all new injuries Stretch and foam roll regularly If it has not fixed itself or continues to return after rest, time to see a specialist
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12Nov, 2018

Achilles Tendonits

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Achilles Tendonitis The achilles tendon is located at the back of your ankle and attaches your calf muscle to your heel bone. The calf consists of two muscles called the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles are the primary muscle of pointing the foot. Achilles tendonitis describes when that band of tissue gets inflamed and irritated from excessive use. The pain is located at the back of the heel and it will feel better after a good warm-up and worse with jumping, relevés, and pointe work. Achilles Tendonitis Exercises Door frame calf […]
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22Oct, 2018

Dance Foot Injury Expert

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Dr. Rachel was the featured dance injury expert in Dance Teacher magazine. Read the article below or find it at http://www.dance-teacher.com/2015/01/best-feet/ Foot-Strengthening Exercises SOOO Easy You Can Do a Few While Brushing Your Teeth It probably won’t surprise you that chiropractor Rachel Loeb often sees dancers make unsafe choices in the name of beautiful feet. While treating professionals in St. Louis, Missouri, she has seen stress fractures from forcing too-high relevés and preventable bunions from squeezing into poorly fitting shoes. “Dancers want to look good,” she says, and they don’t […]
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5Mar, 2018

Dance Injuries- Taking time off

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Will Taking Time Off Fix Me? Well, maybe. It all depends on your injury. If you are sore from training very hard, time off will make you feel like new. If you had a minor incident, time off with some ice will also do you some good.  You may have “tweaked” your back when you twisted just right, lifted your partner in a weird way, or rolled your ankle a little when you landed, ice and rest will help. However, if you have an overuse injury, it is likely from […]
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4Apr, 2017

Foam Rolling for Dancers

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Foam Rolling for Dancers- Spring 2017 Dancer Newsletter How to use foam rolling as self-care for dancers With the constant pressure on a dancer’s body from aggressive training, self-care is an important part of injury prevention for dancers. One very effective and inexpensive tool that every dancer should have is a foam roller. If you have never used a foam roller before, they can seem intimidating, but luckily, they are easy to learn to use and are versatile to hit many important muscle groups for dancers. Glutes 1. Sit with […]
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4Apr, 2016

Do you walk like a duck?

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My Friends Say I Walk Like a Duck How walking turned out can lead to pain and injury We’ve all seen the dancer duck walk. Somewhere between ballet barre and petite allegro, our legs get permanently stuck in turnout. We decide that if we walk with our feet turned out we will be constantly working on bettering our technique. While we have good intentions, the problem is we are setting ourselves up for injury. The way people walk, also known as their gait pattern, plays an important part in how […]
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14Dec, 2015

Muscle Soreness and Cramping for Dancers

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Help, I am so sore! How to limit cramping and muscle soreness There are many factors that play a role in muscle soreness and cramps. It can be tricky to put a finger on exactly what causes your muscle cramps, but there are some general rules you can follow to keep yourself injury and pain free through the cold winter months. Luckily, most soreness is gone after a day or two, but here are some tips to avoid muscle cramps and how to treat them when they inevitable show up. […]
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5Sep, 2015

Are you ready for pointe shoes?

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Are you ready for pointe shoes? A Guide to Pointe Readiness Traditionally the best criteria for determining if a dancer is ready to go en pointe have been age (12 years old) and good technique, however, recent scientific studies have found that there are many different levels of development and skill in the 12 to 15 year old age group. Many factors can change how an artist develops as a dancer like number of years trained, their commitment to mastering technique, and cross-training. Because there are so many variables in […]
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