Get Moving Again
At RHP Physiotherapy we have 15+ years of experience working with performing artists, particularly ballet dancers. We have treated many dancers from the Queensland Dance School of Excellence, the Queensland Ballet Company and local dance schools. Ballet is a very high-impact activity, meaning dancers are as vulnerable to injury as athletes. Ballet is not just physically gruelling – the competition between dancers, all striving for perfection, adds to the physical and mental stress. This is to the extent that dancers frequently perform injured because they are afraid someone will take their place for a performance.
Many dance movements, particularly ballet techniques such as turnout of the hips and rising on the toes (en pointe), test the limits of the human body. Even with perfect form, over-repetition can degrade quality of performance and the body’s muscles and joints. Some studies say up to 80% of professional dancers will be injured in some significant way during their careers.
Techniques such as turnouts, plié, performing numerous jumps (single or double leg), landing jumps and relevé all may look easy when performed by finely tuned dancers, however even the most advanced dancer’s muscles and joints are working incredibly hard. Poor dancing conditions such hard floors, a cold studio or theatre, or dancing without sufficient warm-ups also increases the risk of injury. Without proper management, injuries will occur – lower back pain, hip pain, knee pain/injuries, shin pain and ankle/foot injuries are common ballet injuries.
Treating dancers of all genres requires a holistic approach, since both intrinsic factors (strength, flexibility, stress level) and extrinsic factors (dance floors, volume of dancing and rest periods) need to be assessed and managed. At RHP, we are experts at analysing the whole picture to ensure every piece of the puzzle is in place. We consult with teachers and parents, analyse the dancer’s whole body biomechanics (with the additional use of video analysis) and visit the student’s practice sessions (if required) to help develop exercise and body management programs. Screening of dancers helps identify injury risk factors and physical restrictions that may impede performance. We can also refer to the best specialists when the injury necessitates.
To minimise injury we emphasise good strength and endurance programs at home and practice sessions, and appropriate rest periods and stress management. Good habits from a young age are important to develop a dancer’s body and mind appropriately.
We believe it is advisable for dancers practising multiple times per week to have regular physiotherapy checkups to ensure the body is in the right groove, and hopefully ward off injury, rather than reactive care once injury presents. This promotes physical health, helps maximise performance, and, in the long run, is more affordable than managing injuries.
Call now to make a booking
Kelvin Grove: 07 3856 5566 – Nathan: 07 3184 6844