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Healthy Movement/Injury Prevention PDF Print E-mail

Wecome to one of our Grow A Great™ Dancer programs developed and implemented by a registered nurse, a member of IADMS.   The goal to offer healthy and safe training to dancers in collaboration with professionals from the fields of dance, medicine, and science.  Offering educational programs and material in nutrition, injury prevention, stress relief and the importance of sleep. As well as information and resources regarding appropriate treatment and rehabilitation for dance related injuries. Working together and in collaboration with professionals who are concerned with the dancers' physical and psychological well being. With a commitment to continuing education our students benefit from our consistent philosophy of the holistic approach; nurturing mind, body and spirit to cultivate healthy and happy dancers/individuals with strong self esteem who can use this knowledge throughout their life span. Providing the background and tools to succeed and excel not only in the field of dance, but in all walks of life!

The information may be shared as long as credited appropriately. However, please, note that the material is copyright protected.

"Good nutrition is the number one tool to prevent injuries and to heal in the event of an injury." 

Links are posted to read information from IADMS and Harkness Dance Injury Program

We found the information from Deb Vogel to cover much of what we felt important to injury prevention and treatment. We encourage you to visit her website to sign up for her informative newsletters and purchase her books. 

We also found that Lisa Howell Dance Physiotherapist creator of "The Perfect Point" provides great educational information regarding dance in general and especially, prevention of injuries. We encourage students to purchase her books and visit her website to sign up for her newsletters.

Lisa and Deb have joined together to bring their expertise to the world of dance. We encourage you to visit their new website The Science of Dance Training.

The actual Summer Intensive program information is far more detailed and offers education and materials with emphasis on anatomy and physiology as it relates to the immune response and how it all ties in with a healthy diet, and adequate hydration. The mind - body connection. This is a program unlike any other!

bto dance injury prevention
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Taking class by attending a program/school that does not have the experienced professionals or safe studio equipment to help avoid injuries can lead to life altering events.. Even, if you don't plan on dance as your career, consider how an injury during  dance training can result in lost time from work, or school, doctor visits,  lost wages, and an unhappy boss. 

We encourage you to check out our Dance Nutrition information.Nutrition is the number one tool to prevent injuries.

The following information is not meant to diagnose nor prescribe. Always, notify your parent, and teacher and/or seek a qualified and appropriate healthcare professional should you think you have an injury.

Whether the student is training for a professional career, or is taking dance classes for their leisure or enjoyment, a dance injury may result in life altering consequences. Therefore, this aspect of training is essential.

During our Summer Intensive lectures you will learn how the heart is an important muscle. Education regarding being heart healthy is also included in our nutrition lectures. The class demonstrates a variety of exercises that will help to avoid injuries and  lead to becoming a better dancer.

Growing bodies begin with cartilage, and then become bone. Cartilage is basically a more pliable and flexible bone. Consequently, it is essential that a professional who is aware of the physiological and anatomical developmental processes evaluate and oversee dance training.

A student who has reached the necessary developmental level to participate in the appropriate level of training will be a healthier and happier person. ideal body types for dance

How do we distinguish between an injury and the normal "wear and tear" of being a dancer? This is a question that dancers and dance teachers face on a daily basis. We have to constantly evaluate the body's messages and thus make choices either to rest or to keep going.

When in doubt, seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. You'll want to err on the side of caution if you have any questions regarding the treatment of a potential injury.

We must teach our dancers to trust the body's messages. This takes time and experience.

The best and safest method for dancers and professional athletes is to always begin with warm up sessions. Making sure your muscles and ligaments are slowly introduced into your routine. You may find this aspect of training to be mundane and boring. However, this aspect of training is the most essential of all in becoming and maintaining your status as a great and healthy dancer.

We teach our students that "pain is your friend!" It's your body sending you a message that something is wrong and needs to be addressed. Pain should never be dismissed and/or overlooked. Find out WHY your body is sending you this warning.

Here are some guidelines that you can use to help evaluate whether you are dealing with an injury.

Four Warning Signs of an Injury

- Pain that gets progressively worse during class, rehearsal, work out, etc.
- Pain that comes after your class, rehearsal, or work out, and comes back the next day after less movement is done.
- Pain that appears when executing certain movements (e.g. during arabesque or landing a jump).
- No real sense of "pain" but a definite restriction of movement.
Handling an Injury

If the injury is acute and you can pinpoint the event that triggered it (e.g. you landed on a sickled foot, you fell out of a leap, your partner elbowed your ribcage, you felt something snap, or you have instant discoloration) apply ice, stop moving, and get to a doctor.

If your injury doesn't fall into an acute category, the following information applies to you.

How an injury feels when moving can tell you a lot. If going back to class helps the injury feel a little better or less sore, great. Just remember to respect your body's limits during class until you are feeling 100%.

If moving irritates the injury or makes it feel worse, get smart. Most injuries can be short circuited in the early stages. Dancers, in general, have a high pain tolerance and need to be given permission to take care of themselves either by taking off from class, sleeping, getting a massage, or by answering any other of the body's requests.

Sometimes a dancer will begin to feel chronic pain in either the muscles or a joint. Typically, chronic pain in the muscles is caused by excessive tension. In turn, this tension is generally caused by skeletal displacement (poor alignment). As a result, the muscles must work constantly to both move and support the dancer.

Chronic pain in the joint is often due to constant irritation caused by muscular tension or a mechanical misalignment within the joints (again, poor alignment). As all dancers know, alignment completely underlies one's ability to move efficiently and "injury free."

Chronic Sneaks

Dance injuries often start in small ways. They sneak up on you. Most dancers with chronic injuries are not the ones who sprained their ankles while being lowered from a lift. The cause of their injuries is more difficult to decipher. Their complaints (as follows) are less clear: "My arabesque is not as high as it used to be"; "My hip is clicking when I lower from a front developpe'"; "My lower back is aching. I'm not sure when it started, but now I can't do my port de bras backwards." These are the more normal, chronic "overuse" injuries described in the four earlier scenarios. These injuries need to be respected before they spiral into more debilitating problems.

Chronic injuries are more challenging and frustrating to work with, especially if you are in a performance situation that demands a certain workload or in a demanding schedule that is hard to change. This is when having individualized guidance from a dance medicine specialist is important.

Over time you will begin to see patterns in how your body feels, and you will be better able to prevent chronic strains and injuries.

The first step is to listen carefully and honestly to your body (not in a hypochondriac fashion).

This will both help you become a better dancer and/or a better teacher. If you notice recurrent patterns of strain or if you feel the same type of pain in an area while doing different types of movement, write them down.

Keep a notebook handy to jot down which movements provoke a painful response. See if you can find any similarities among the movements in order to determine a cause.

Are you consistently getting injured during the performance season?

 Is the choreography you are dancing repeating the same or similar movements on one side of your body?

Are you demonstrating the same side all the time when teaching?

Ask your teacher or another professional to watch you execute these movements in order to see if you are making a compensation that could cause pain.

 If you can't find a pain free adjustment to the movement on your own, see a dance medicine specialist and bring your notes with you. If you provide a complete picture, the evaluation will be more beneficial.

Don't deny your body's experience.

The goal is to learn how to evaluate and work with your own unique kinesiology feedback. as a science is a very helpful tooYour teachers can provide guidance, but ultimately, it is the dancer that is in charge of creating the necessary changes in order to dance effortlessly and gracefully, without creating pain or damaging the physical structures of the body.

When healing'recovering from an injury it's been proven that by using the mind you can recover more quickly. Find a quiet place and play the usual class music. In your mind visualize doing your barre and other class exercises. The brain is an amazing organ!

Important Stuff

It can be challenging for dancers to admit that chronic problems can easily turn into acute ones.

Generally, acute injuries are obvious ones.

For example, if you rupture your achilles tendon, you are not going to get up off the floor and dance. However, if you have achilles tendonitis, you may still be able to dance (although probably not at 100% capacity).

Furthermore, if you aren't careful with your rehab, you run the risk of rupturing the tendon.

Other examples of acute injuries might be tendon ruptures, dislocations (patella and shoulders generally), ligament sprains, and inflamed bursae.

Sometimes acute injuries develop from "overuse" injuries that have not been rehabilitated appropriately. For example, a stress fracture is considered an "overuse" injury because it can take a period of time to develop.

However, a stress fracture should be considered an acute injury that needs immediate attention once it has been diagnosed by a medical practitioner. I have seen cases of achilles tendonitis become shin splints, which in turn become a chronic knee or hip problem because the original tendonitis was not cared for properly.  Females require more calcium. If you are diagnosed with stress fracture, evaluate your dietary intake. Supplements of calcium and vitamin D will help prevent. 

The bottom line is both the acute and "overuse" injuries are injuries and should be treated as such! Pay attention to the warning signs of an injury, and you will prevent the more serious repercussions of an acute injury. Pain is your friend!

Getting to know the body's patterns and muscular imbalances and then addressing those imbalances is the best way to prevent injuries.

Good nutrition is the number one tool to prevent injuries!

Recovery from an injury

Education is the key!

 Deb Vogel her injury prevention and treatment information. We encourage you to visit her website to sign up for her informative newsletters and purchase her books.The Body Series/Dance Smart/Teach Smart

Harkness dance center injury protocol -ALWAYS inform your teacher and parent and follow up with the appropriate healthcare professionals if you think, feel you have an injury!

Reiki Healing Music video

Any school can train a student. However, not everyone can teach appropriately and safely. ballet tech ohio offers programs of study in a unique and nurturing environment Our faculty cultivates respect for the art of dance while adhering to the philosophy of our name. Merging the classical and traditional in synergy with the Internet and today's cutting edge technology, offering unique, collaborative programs not found elsewhere.

ballet tech® of ohio - first and best!

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