Annual injury rates for dancers are reported at an average of 67%-95% and about half of all dancers report chronic pain. In ballet, the greatest portion of injuries occur between 12-18 years old. 184 dancers in US completed a questionnaire on injuries, 82% of dancers suffered between 1 and 7 injuries (comparable to American football at 81%). The foot and ankle are most common injuries with knee and low back following.
How does injury affect the human body, dancing careers, and what cost are associated?
The human body: After certain injuries, your body will never be the same. For example, a ligament once torn will only be 80% as strong as it once was. If you sprain your ankle once, you are prone to multiple sprains afterward unless proper rehabilitation takes place. Once you tear a ligament or fracture a bone, you are predisposed to other ailments later in life such as joint replacements, arthritis, and osteoarthritis.
Cost Associated: Cost of injuries are far greater than preventing injuries. Injuries are associated with possible trips to the emergency room, followed by referral to a physician or orthopedic surgeon, images (mri, x-ray, ect.), surgeries, and rehabilitation/physical therapy. For example, ACL rehabilitation takes 6 months to 1 year. Females are 2-8 times more likely to sustain an ACL injury.
Dancing Career? Injuries can end your dancing career, alter performance, and lead to missed practices and performances. Take the preventative approach, get evaluated by an advanced fellowship trained therapist to ensure your best performance.
- Pain increases with exercise
- Soreness lasting longer than 2-3 days after exercise
- Popping, clicking, clunking, locking, pinching, catching, dislocating
- Sharp pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Feeling unstable or “giving out”
- Poor balance
- Decreased strength, muscle length, or range of motion
- Swelling or stiffness
- Poor coordination
A single leg ¼ squat is a reliable test to screen for risk of lower body injuries.
To Perform the Test:
Stand in front of a mirror and observe the position of your pelvis, hip, knee, ankle, and foot while evenly weight bearing through both legs.
Stand on one leg, while monitoring for any deviations: foot arch collapse, knee rotation, pelvic rotation or drop, poor balance.
While standing on one leg perform a ¼ squat and notice if the deviations worsen or more appear.
An athlete should be able to stand on one leg and ¼ squat without the arch of the foot collapsing, femur (thigh) internally rotating (turning in), knee adducting (moving in towards midline), and opposite hip dropping.
At Apex Manual Therapy, a fellowship trained doctor of physical therapy will evaluate the athlete's body to accurately diagnosis the root cause of the problem.
Each athlete will be assessed on:
- Range of motion
- Muscle length and strength
- Hip/bony structure and anatomy
- Joint mobility
- Motor control
- Neural tension
- Dancer specific skills to maximize performance, recover from and/or prevent injury, to quickly return dancers back to performing.
With each visit, athletes will gain a substantial amount of knowledge on anatomy, physiology, and body mechanics for their individual body type. Our advanced therapist spends the entire visit with each patient, one-on-one. This results in faster recovery, fewer visits, and less money spent on co-pays and deductibles. A customized home exercise and neuromuscular re-education program will be given to each athlete based on the findings in the evaluation.
- Orthopedic physical therapy
- Manual Therapy
- Neuromuscular re-education
- Therapeutic activity and exercise
- Wellness and prevention programs
- Ankle sprain prevention program
- ACL prevention programs
- Running analysis
- Leaping and jumping analysis
- Movement analysis
- Skill-specific performance training
- Back, shoulder, elbow, hand, neck, hip, knee, foot, ankle, toe pain
- Acl, pcl, mcl, lcl, meniscus tear recovery/rehab
- Ankle sprains
- Poor flexibility and range of motion
- Sever’s disease
- Osgood-schlatter disease
- Patellofemoral syndrome
- IT band syndrome
- Runner’s knee
- Plica syndrome
- Stress fracture
- Groin strain
- Hip labral tears
- Femoroacetabular impingement
- Ankle impingement
- Piriformis syndrome
- Sciatic nerve