Dancing has amazing health benefits for dancers, athletes and even novices who are just interested in finding new ways to get fit. Dance is a total body workout that requires focus, discipline and strength, both physically and mentally. After just a few sessions you’ll notice that you have better posture, toned, sculpted muscles and much more flexibility. Perth offers a variety of dance studios for individuals of all ages and ability levels, but avoid the common mistake I see: don’t force yourself into classes- and thus positions- that you just aren’t ready for. If you are one of the many people who are wary of Perth dance studios lest you hurt yourself, prevent dance injuries and enhance your performance with dance physio in Perth.
Common Dance Injuries in Perth- and Beyond!
Many dancers step into Happy Physio with injuries. It is a common misconception that dance physiotherapy is only good when you’ve already been injured- that is not the case! Many Perth dancers perform better with physiotherapy, especially if they come in for prevention screening, pre-pointe assessments, dance rehabilitation or Pilates as a preventative measure. However, if you are victim to one of the common ballet injuries that we see at Happy Physio, you cannot afford to wait any longer to come see me.
Do you think you have a dance injury? Do you just want to know more about them?
Any type of dancer can become injured- ballerinas, tap dancers, jazz dancers and beyond.
Common Dance Injuries of the Foot
- If you dance on cement floor, dance without warming up your calves or find yourself training intensely for a short period of time, you may experience achilles tendonitis.
- Lateral ankle sprain is a common injury that occurs when you land awkwardly after a jump. If you’ve landed a jump and the outside of your ankle rolls inward, you may experience this injury.
- Do you feel a repeated pinching sensation during barre or floor work in your heel? If you do, you may be experiencing posterior ankle impingement syndrome, which occurs when your heel bone meets your ankle bones and causes the tissues in your foot to compress. You may notice difficulty pointing your foot or coming to a full relevé.
Common Dance Injuries of the Knee
- It may have seemed like a simple little knee tweak, but if you’ve forced a turnout or landed a jump awkwardly, you may have torn your knee cartilage, which results in a meniscus knee tear.
Common Dance injuries of the Back and Neck
- If you find yourself arching your middle or lower back while dancing instead of lifting your collarbone and chest plate, you might be overworking your extensor muscles. Overworking these back muscles can cause chronic pain and lower back strain.
- If you suffer from swayback, also known as lordosis, or you simply do not dance with an engaged core, you are very susceptible to muscle spasms, a common dance injury that I see very often.
- Neck Strain occurs very often due to choreography that requires frequent movement of the head and neck. If you do not properly use your core and back muscles when moving your neck, you could be very susceptible to neck strain.
Preventing Pain in Dance Professionals
- Now that you know some common dance ailments that we see at Happy Physio, you are half way to preventing an injury. Some of the most important tips we give our dancers include:
- Engage your core: Engaging the muscles in your stomach and pelvis protect your neck, back and knees from unnecessary stress and injury. Having trouble remembering to engage your core when dancing? Picture your pelvis as a bowl full of water. With every movement you make, try to keep the water from splashing over the sides of the bowl. Voila! You’ll begin to develop core strength immediately.
- Elongate your neck: Crunching your neck not only causes neck strain, tension headaches and potential back pain, it also contributes to improper posture.
- ALWAYS stretch: Before you begin class, do a few simple stretches- shake your head yes and no, point and flex your feet, bend forward and backward, bend your knees- bring a little movement to your body to limber your muscles before starting to dance.
- Lift your arches: Instead of forcing your turn out, lift your arches to prevent lower back, knee and foot injury. Pretend there is a collection of berries underneath the arches of your feet and try not to crush them.
- Change it up: Over exercising is never good. Instead of dancing every day, try pilates, yoga or a dance physio in Perth. When finding your physio, make sure you feel comfortable to ask questions and push your physio for reasons as to his or her recommendations and treatment decisions. Feel free to ask questions here at Happy Physio. Call us now at (08) 9443 4991.