Monday, June 18, 2012

How To Prevent Injuries in Ballet

What may sdem like a minor ache or pain could turn into a serious career-ending injury if you are not making the proper adjustments to your techniques. Whether it's a major injury like an Achilles tendon rupture or a minor one like a shin split, it is important that you discover the root cause of your nagging injuries.

It is not enough to mask injury pain. If you do not get into the bottom of you injury, you can kiss ballet good-bye. You can find yourself asking, "How to prevent common ballet injuries?"

Today, ballet school and dance instructors take preventive measures to keep their students fine-tuned and injury-free. They are now educated on ballet injury prevention for dancers. This is a great step to help dancers manage their injuries thus prolonging the dancing career.

Most ballet injuries affect the legs, spin, arms, pelvic and hip. Some of the common injuries felt by dancers include Achilles tendonitis, lower back pain, ligament sprains, muscle strains, ankle sprains, patellar tendonitis, broken toes and feet, pelvic mal-alignment, rotate cuff and piriformis syndrome. The causes of ballet injuries are:

Incorrect turnout - rolling of the feet, knee mal-alignment, lack of range of motion of your body
Muscle imbalances - where some muscles are too tight or strong and the others too flexible or weak. Ballet is so focused on gaining certain motion of joints (turn-out) that the other muscles get forgotten.
Preventing Muscle Injuries

There are steps you can take to prevent injuries from cutting your ballet career short.

Consult a physiotherapist for a physical assessment. He or she can tell you what you can do to strengthen your weak muscles and stretch the tight ones. Your physiotherapist can also provide you a therapy specific to your body that you will need to prevent and manage injury and gain optimal performance.
· Make sure you warm up or build up your muscles first and stretch them extensively before and after class. Hold your stretches for 30 seconds.

Rest. Stop dancing if you experience abnormal pain and consult your physician or physiotherapist. Don't be stubborn on this. What if you keep on dancing and tore a ligament or broke a toe? Take a break from ballet and rest instead.
Know your body's structural limits regarding over training and injury management. If you did train for ballet before the age of 11, your hip can be altered as you grow to have a more turned out position.
Check out the external factors affecting your body. Did you wear good fitting ballet shoes? Are you dancing on a "sprung floor" for shock absorption? What is the room temperature at your dance studio?
Cross train two times a week. Take up core conditioning, strength training, pilates, swimming, biking, gymnastics, just to name a few.
Our joints can get stiff or mal - aligned while others become too mobile. Have your physiotherapist assist you to mobilize your stiff and mal - aligned joints. Take up specialized exercises to stabilize your hyper-mobile joints.

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