Dancers are no strangers to pain. Injuries are as common in the dance world as blisters. But, too often those injuries can be prevented.
Too many of us have heard the sympathetic “I told you so” from our teacher after an injury. That’s because many injuries are a result of weaknesses in our muscles or joints that went unattended for too long. When your teacher nags that your dancing would be so much better if you strengthened your ankles or increased hip flexibility, there’s something to that!
The things that are holding you back from executing a step flawlessly may also be the early causes of an injury.
That’s where physical therapy comes in.
Often, PT is thought of as something you do only after a surgery or serious injury. But in fact it can be extremely helpful for ensuring proper recovery from minor injuries, preventing injuries, and even improving your dancing!
Physical therapists will be able to evaluate injuries and probable weakness that are causing possible compensation and overuse injuries. Therapist will then create an individualized program in order to address specific needs. – Matt V. Provenzano PT, DPT, CET, TPI-CGFI.
Whether it’s weak hamstrings, hip imbalances, or bad knees, we all have that one thing that’s been holding us back. I’ve seen teachers refer dancers to a physical therapist for just such issues.
After a few weeks of PT those dancers improved remarkably. Lifts were higher, leaps landed cleaner, and cuts sharper.
Above all, dancers who seek PT for their imbalances and pains early-on may save themselves the heartache of injury later.
Getting that extra height on your overs AND avoiding a sprained ankle can be as simple as strengthening your glutes. But you won’t know until you go see a pro.
My own experience with physical therapy has been life changing. It has gotten me back dancing when I never thought I could, and kept me dancing years longer than I’d ever hoped!
So, dancers – if you feel any recurring discomfort or are struggling with physical inability to execute certain steps, I urge you to give physical therapy a shot.
After all, anything we can do to keep us injury-free and strong on stage is well worth it, right?
Photo credit: Image is courtesy of and belongs to author.
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