The greatest dancers make their art look effortless, but dance demands high levels of stamina, strength, and flexibility. Serious dancers and dance students practice for hours at a time, performing repetitive movements that put them at risk of stress fractures and other overuse injuries.
When all is said and done, the best approach to common dance injuries is prevention! Still, every dancer will face injuries at some point on their path. Before that happens, it’s important to know how you should treat a common dance injury immediately after it occurs. Here’s what you need to know.
Many of the most common dance injuries occur from putting too much repetitive strain on joints and muscles of the ankle, leg, foot, and lower back:
Why do dance injuries happen? Improper training, unhealthy diet, and overtraining can all result in common dance injuries like stress fractures, sprains, and strains. What’s healthy for one body isn’t always healthy for another! Get to know your body, eat a balanced diet that works for you, and learn your limits. Keep these tips in mind:
How should you treat a common dance injury? Immediately! The first order of business is to reduce swelling and inflammation with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). When swelling is down after several days, you can start applying heat instead to increase blood flow for better healing. That said, you can continue with ice for as long as it brings relief—everyone is different, and there’s no harm in icing for a longer period.Remember: do not ice before dancing or stretching! Starting activity with cold muscles increases your risk of reinjury.
Questions about how you should treat a common dance injury? Immediately contact your doctor if swelling and pain persist. Their recommendation will depend on the type and severity of your injury. RICE, joint protection, and physical therapy are usually enough for traumatic injuries like ankle sprains, while fractures typically require that you limit weight-bearing.
If you’re looking for physical therapy to treat common dance injuries, you’re in the right place! IMPACT Physical Therapy provides a diverse array of specialty services at our clinics throughout Chicagoland. Request a virtual visit today, and let us help you get back to doing what you love!