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Preventing Dance Injuries

“In dance, as in any athletic activity, injuries are prevalent.” (Journal of Sport Medicine Sept 2013)

Attend to injuries quickly

Many dancers view pain as simply being part of dance. This often encourages dancers to “dance through the pain.” Doing so can increase the severity of an injury and slow down recovery (Brain Inj. 2010). Studies also show that dancers have a higher pain tolerance than non-dancers, this makes
ignoring an injury all the more prevalent in our dancing community (Br J Sports Med 1995).

Beware over dancingJuliet and I at Mambo Jam

Many have described their love for dance as being similar to an addiction (Wainwright et al 2005) and on a personal level, I can certainly relate. Be sure to take time to rest, hydrate and recover throughout a night of dancing and between dance nights.

Be sure to cross train

Dancing all night can be exhausting, but does dancing encourage great fitness? When dance students were studied it was found that an hour of dance class resulted in only 10 minu

tes of vigorous activity (J Strength Cond Res. 2004). Cross training in activities that promote great cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility will help keep you on the dance floor.

Keep your body balanced

The Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found the following to be large contributors to dance injury: Poor alignment, lack of warm-up, overuse/fatigue, anterior pelvic tilt, poor core strength and pelvic muscle imbalance to name a few.

Are you one step away from an injury? Contact me to schedule a checkup 612-331-1417.

Find a practitioner that knows the demands of dance

A study showed that 80% of dancers reported their health care provider did not understand dance and that 43% of providers gave unhelpful advice with “stop dancing” being the common solution (Russell and Wang 2012). A provider that understands the unique demands of dance will provide you with better care, improved rehab suggestions and therefore, improved outcomes.

Be well and keep moving,

Dr. Chris Hanson

Dr Chris with the members of the Mambo Jam group.

Dr Chris with the members of the Mambo Jam group.  Photo credits to: K. Diarra Photo