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Physiotherapy for Ballet Dancers

Apr 8, 2021

Dancing puts enormous strain on the body with repetitive movements that require open-chain development of the lower appendage. Your ability to balance relies on an understanding of both force and adjustment in the body. Dancers require undeniable dynamic control degrees; as a general rule, one leg is off the floor whilst performing. When one looses focus during movement, a fall leading to injury is almost inevitable. Therefore, the ability to maintain balance and equilibrium in relation to the distribution of weight is paramount.

Ballet Dancing:

Ballet requires superior physical capabilities, including a joint range of movement, muscle adaptability/flexibility, the turnout of the lower extremity, and precarious balance. It is a particular type of dance that requires strength, control, balance, flexibility, agility, and cardiovascular wellness. This sport and work of art additionally include practice and discipline to dominate the strategies.

Common Injuries in Ballet:

The most common overuse injuries in dancers fall into three categories including; 

  1. Tendinopathies.
  2. Sprains.
  3. Strains.

Some common overuse injuries for ballet dancers include:

  • Muscle imbalance, back stress fracture, spondylolisthesis, SIJ dysfunction, pars injury, scoliosis.
  • Iliopsoas tendinopathy, snapping hip, trochanteric bursitis, labral tear.
  • Patella tendinopathy, patellofemoral pain, Osgood-Schlatter disease.
  • Achilles tendinopathy, Sever’s disease, posterior ankle impingement, shin splints, FHL tendinopathy.
  • Trigger toe, bunions, sesamoiditis, MTPJ inflammation, stress fracture.

Physiotherapy and Ballet Dance:

All dances require mastery of stability and alignment during various sorts of stances and movements. To develop successful injury avoidance and treatment plans, physiotherapists should comprehend the biomechanics, vocabulary, and combinations explicit to every move. 

The relationship of the physiotherapist to the artist is twofold; he should be both educator and healer. An instructor in practice programs utilises their tools of the trade, their bodies, and their biomechanics.

The function of Physiotherapist in Ballet:

  • Injury prevention screening.
  • Pre-pointe assessments.
  • Performance enhancement.
  • Treatment.
  • Rehabilitation.

Prevention Plan:

To keep the injury from happening, one should work with flexibility, strength, adaptability, control, and equilibrium. The physiotherapist will talk about the objectives, training regime, and injury history. They will finish various physical tests to decide on an appropriate injury prevention program.

  • Warm-up:

It is essential to warm up and cool down before classes, rehearsals, and performances. This ensures that the muscles are warm and joints are moving smoothly and evenly.

  • Technique:

The physiotherapist will work to improve the technique to reduce the risk of injury.

  • Equipment:

In dancing it is of great importance to look after your feet. As a result, one need to ensure that their ballet shoes are of the correct fit, especially during practice sessions. Spend some additional time assisting with feet to recover through the use of massage and toe exercises.

Recovery Plan:

Proper healing from injury is vital to enable a safe return to the dance practice, prevent repeated aggravation of the injury, and keep any subsequent injuries from happening because of the body compensating for the previous cause of pain.

  • Passive Treatment: 

It includes taping, massage, manual therapy techniques, and ultrasound carried out by the physiotherapist, custom made to the recovery needs.

  • Active Component:

It includes exercises to help stretch tight muscles, strengthen the weak muscles, and correct the movement patterns.

  • Resting Phase:

This may involve taking a short break from training, or in many cases, limiting certain areas of the activity that aggravate the injury to enable it to heal.

Ballet is an athletic work of art with a clear need for accuracy, strength, and adaptability. It includes the entire body, frequently in extreme postures and with a deep level of reiteration. Our physiotherapists work with artists to help them avoid injury, recovery from pain and return in tip top condition to once again enjoy the physical activities that they love.

References:

Bronner, S. (2019, June 06). Ballet basics: What rehab professionals should know when treating dancers. Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://www.medbridgeeducation.com/blog/2019/05/ballet-basics-what-rehab-professionals-should-know-when-treating-dancers/

Olivia. (2016, April 15). Physiotherapy for DANCERS: Dancewear Central blog. Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://www.dancewearcentral.co.uk/blog/physiotherapy-for-dancers/

PHYSIOTHERAPY for ballet. (n.d.). Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://www.balletphysio.com/physiotherapy

Physiotherapy for dancers. (2016, August 12). Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://www.perfectformphysio.com.au/about-us/dance-physio/

Physiotherapy for dancers. (n.d.). Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://www.pilatesandtherapy.co.uk/physiotherapy-for-dancers/

Stewart, N. (2020, June 18). Ballet injuries. Retrieved April 05, 2021, from https://physioworks.com.au/sports-physio/ballet-injuries-physio/

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