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Dance Injuries FAQ & 7 Ways To Recover From Dancing Injuries

What is the most common cause of injury in dance?

Overuse injuries are the most common cause of dance injuries, which means that we are working the muscles and/or joints too much for what they can handle or simply overtraining. Overtraining can include training too many hours or inadequate sleep, not allowing tissues to recover. Often, these injuries occur in the ankle, foot, leg, hip or back. Other factors that can contribute to dance injuries are compensations for limited mobility in parts of the body and inadequate warm up.

What are the most common dance injuries?

  • Ankle/foot: ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis, trigger toe (flexor hallucis longus
    tenosynovitis), stress fractures, ankle impingement
  • Hip: snapping hip, hip impingement
  • Knee: patellofemoral pain syndrome

What is the best first aid method for injury treatment in dancing?

First aid methods will depend on what type of injury has happened and its severity, however, in general, it is important to stop the activity that may be causing further injury and see a medical professional, like a physical therapist! In the case of a minor injury like a sprain or strain, applying ice to the area can help reduce swelling and numb the pain. Begin compression and elevation to control swelling as well. Swelling is your body’s way of sending healing cells to the area, but too much can slow down the healing process. For more severe injuries, like broken bones, deep cuts, or full muscle tears, it is important to seek immediate medical attention.

What helps sore muscles after dancing?

There are several methods for treating sore muscles after dancing. One effective
way is light stretching, as it can help loosen tight muscles and promote blood
flow. It is also important to stay hydrated and get adequate sleep to speed up the
recovery process. Applying ice to sore muscles can help reduce inflammation
and numb the area. On the other hand, applying heat to the muscles can also be
effective, as it can help increase blood flow and promote healing. The best
approach will depend on personal preference and the severity of the soreness.
Listen to your body and make adjustments as needed.

1. Active rest

Whether it is dancing, biking, walking, or rowing, keep your body moving in ways
that don’t aggravate your injury. This gets good blood flow throughout the body
to optimize healing and prevent excessive inflammation.

2. Gentle stretches

Move your body through different ranges of motion to lubricate your joints. Even
on your injured body part, move within a pain-free range to gently work out
inflammation. You do not need to push through a painful stretch to reap the
benefits – just try moving in and out of the stretch slowly and rhythmically to
soothe your body into opening up.

3. Self massage or foam rolling

For tight or sore muscles try using a foam roller or lacrosse ball to release your
muscles. Start with light-medium pressure to induce relaxation without irritation
of the muscles. This can help bring blood flow to help muscles heal.

4. Get more rest

Prioritize good, quality sleep. Sleep is vital to optimizing recovery, whether that
be from injuries or even long training days. Lack of sleep can prolong
inflammation in the body which makes it harder for our body to heal.

5. Eat well

Make sure to eat a well balanced diet and sufficient calories for your body to
have enough energy and vitamins to help heal your tissues. Try incorporating
anti-inflammatory foods to naturally decrease inflammation throughout the body.
Inflammation is a natural process that occurs when we have an injury to bring
attention and healing cells to the injured area, but sometimes inflammation can
linger and be painful. For nerve injuries (eg. sciatica, carpal tunnel), it is
important to make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of B vitamins,
especially B1, B6, B12. These B vitamins help protect nerves and help rebuild
them after they’ve been injured.

6. Stay hydrated

Our body needs water for nearly all processes – to keep our muscles loose and
pliable, allow them to contract, take messages from our brain to our muscles via
nerves, telling them to fire so that we can get movement. These cells need water
and electrolytes in order to make that happen. In a normal day, we should drink
half of our body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water. For example, a 120-lb
person would drink a total of 60 ounces of water. When we are exercising, we
need to take in even more water to make up for what is lost during our cells
processing and sweating.

Here’s a general formula for hydration while exercising:

Bodyweight (in pounds) / 30 = ounces of fluid per 15 minutes of exercise
Electrolytes, sodium and potassium, are the other key parts of hydration, allowing
us to absorb and use the water effectively. Sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade,
etc.) are designed to provide sources of electrolytes, but we can also get
electrolytes with a homemade mixture of salt and lemon (or citrus fruits).

7. See a PT!

Work with a physical therapist that knows dance and knows what your body
needs. Find out what is causing your pain and injuries, then get the individualized
care you need to optimize your recovery, get to the root cause of the injury, and
ensure you are moving well throughout the whole body to decrease your chances
of future injuries!

KinetikChain Physical Therapy

We Help People In Denver Quickly Recover From Pain Or Injury So They Can Stay Active In Their Favorite Sport/Hobby, Continue Exercising, And Get Back To What They Love To Do.


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