Dancers often eat, sleep, and breathe the art of dancing, as it’s a way to stay active and express themselves. Offering a wide range of health benefits, dancing improves the condition of your lungs, heart, muscles, and even your bones. Although beneficial, dancing can also increase your risk of injury.
Physiotherapy is a great way to prevent and treat both minor and major injuries. Knowing what injuries you’re at risk for, can help you maintain your health and ability to dance, by reducing your risk of complications — especially among younger dancers. If you’re a dancer, you will benefit from physiotherapy in the following ways:
Can Determine and Diagnose Dance-Specific Injuries
You may think a sprained ankle is simply a sprained ankle, but while focusing on dancers, this is not necessarily true. Unfortunately, rare dance-specific conditions and injuries are often misdiagnosed. Physiotherapy can address these rare injuries and conditions before they cause greater harm.
Since the majority of injuries occur within the foot and ankle, it’s important that you receive an accurate diagnosis. Some of the most common injuries include, but are not limited to dancers heel (posterior impingement syndrome); achilles tendinopathy; navicular stress fracture; trigger toe (FHL tenosynovitis); shin splints; and lateral ankle sprains.
Provides Opportunities to Enhance Body Strength and Precision
One of the best ways to prevent injury, is to strengthen your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Physiotherapy can help dancers not only load their body better, but develop greater body resilience, preventing future injuries. In turn, dancers will perform better and have a healthy body.
As reported in a review, published in Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, poor core stability has been identified as one of the main risk factors regarding lower and upper extremity injuries. More specifically, poor neuromuscular control in the trunk has been associated with an increased risk of knee injuries among female dancers.
Enhances Cardiovascular Endurance and Stamina
When exposed to new exercises, dancers are able to practice new routines, improving overall cardiovascular endurance and health. This helps dancers build beneficial habits, as they continually support the health of their heart. In turn, they are able to reduce overall fatigue, boost immune function, enhance stamina, and improve performance.
More often than not, athletes, including dancers, are not aware of how they can protect themselves. Although playing sports or dancing involves some level of unknown risk in terms of accidental falls or trauma, there are most certainly ways to reduce your overall risk, preventing injuries before they occur.
According to one study, published in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, it was stated that fifty-three percent of injuries occurred in the foot or ankle; 21.6 percent in the hip; 16.1 percent in the knee; and 9.4 percent in the back. Also, adolescent dancers account for the most ballet injuries, so it’s important to discuss all potential risk factors — regardless of your age.
Supports the Healing Process
Dancers, like all athletes, require muscular strength, speed, endurance, agility, motor control, and energy utilisation. Based on the nature of athletic activities, injuries are fairly prevalent. Depending on the injury itself, a variety of methods and techniques may be used.
When an injury occurs, it’s imperative that you seek physiotherapy immediately. This will reduce one’s risk of lasting complications. Depending on the injury itself, a personalised treatment plan will be created — often focusing on reduced swelling and pain, followed by exercises and associated methods that increase strength and range of motion.
If you are a dancer and want to ensure that you’re in the best shape possible, all while preventing recurrent injuries, physiotherapy is highly recommended. Do not wait until an injury occurs to take action — strengthen your muscles and joints today, all while benefiting positive health.
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