If you had to guess, which type of individual would you assume was at greater risk for injury: rugby player or dancer? Believe it or not, a dancer has more of a chance of becoming injured than a rugby player does. Dance may look effortless and easy on the body, but it is not. In fact, 80 percent of dancers suffer one injury (at least) per year.
Causes of Dance-related Injuries
There are multiple ways a dancer can become injured. While some dance-related injuries result from slips or falls, many are caused by a combination of factors, including:
- Improper dance form
- Weak core muscles
- General lack of muscle strength
- Muscular imbalances
Once a dancer is hurt, even if the injury is slight, continuing to dance without correcting the cause of the injury will likely worsen the problem. This is how long-term injuries are created.
How Dancers Can Prevent Injury
Some dance-related injuries, such as accidents, simply cannot be avoided. However, harm related to the aforementioned issues (weak core muscles, muscular imbalances, lack of muscle strength, etc.) can sometimes be prevented by strategically strengthening the body.
Before a dancer hires a personal trainer to help with strengthening, he or she should consider working with a physiotherapist. In most cases, physiotherapists are more efficient at rehabilitating dancers than personal trainers due to their ability to diagnose musculoskeletal problems and effectively correct them. Despite this, many dancers do not know the incredible help physiotherapy can be to them in their quest to gain a stronger, more healthy body.
Dancers who choose to participate in physiotherapy sessions for dance injury correction/prevention can expect to receive passive treatments (such as heat/ice therapy, soft tissue massage, traction, joint mobilization, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound). Active treatments (functional movement assessments and tailored exercise), which help rehabilitate the spine, are also important components of physiotherapy for the dancer.
Physiotherapy: a Must for Dancers
Without a doubt, physiotherapy can be a godsend for dancers. This type of therapy is perfect for dancers because it not only treats injuries, but also prevents them, thus increasing performance ability. Depending upon the situation, a physiotherapist may be able to help an individual continue to dance while working through an injury, whereas another health professional might automatically tell the dancer to rest. And, since prevention is the best medicine, dancers who are not injured should be reaching out to a physiotherapist as well.
Are you a dancer who has a new or longstanding injury? Or, are you simply looking to prevent dance-related injuries? Contact a physiotherapist to discuss how you can keep injuries at bay while becoming the best dancer you can possibly be.