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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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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15May, 2017

Hip Flexibility

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Hip Flexibility Benefits & Improvement with special tips for the dancer’s body   Benefits General: Improved spine health Improved knee health Increased upper and lower body circulation Dance: Stability in turn out and parallel positions Wider range of motion   Stretching Tips Do: Increase blood flow to muscles to “warm” body Feel stretch in belly of muscle, not joint Breath deeply to deliver oxygen to muscles Do not: Stretch “cold” muscles Stretch tendons or ligaments Let eagerness overpower safety   Types of Stretching Dynamic Stretching: Dynamic stretching involves lengthening a […]
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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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7Dec, 2014

Ballet Warm Up

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The Importance of Staying Warm Backstage Your Ballet Warm Up – A special edition for ballerinas before Nutcracker The big show starts in about an hour and your teacher leads a beautiful and inspirational barre before they open the theater for the audience to enter to find their seats. Then you go backstage and finish getting your costume on while you wait with excitement for the show to start and your turn on the stage. Even if you had the perfect warm-up before the show started, you will need to […]
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3Nov, 2014

What to Eat Before and After a Dance Class

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What to Eat Before and After a Dance Class Eating Right to get the most out of your practice For many dancers, you spend all day at school before heading to the dance studio for an evening of dancing. Improper eating throughout the day will make you prone to an “afternoon slump” even before dance practice has started. Eating right all day, especially on days you dance will help you maintain your energy throughout your class and allow your body to properly repair after a long day. Tips for a […]
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11Jun, 2014

Ice Vs. Heat

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Managing injuries with ice or heat When faced with an injury or ache, many people wonder whether to use ice or heat. The information below is intended to help you make a more informed decision. ICE Ice should not be used directly on the skin or for longer than 20 minutes. You can buy reusable ice packs that can conform to the problem area, or you can always use a bag of frozen peas or corn as an inexpensive alternative.  Ice several times per day, but make sure the skin […]
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