Dancers Guide to Injury Prevention: 5 Tips
Dancers are some of the toughest athletes out there. You would never know that they have bloody feet and a broken toe in their beautiful ballerina flats. In my experience, I have found that dancers tend to smile through the pain until a performance is over and then they are in excruciating pain. While this is noble of them, it is causing a lot of damage on their bodies. Obviously, it is very important that a dancer stays healthy before, during, and after a performance in order to perform to the best of their ability. That is why I want to share five tips for dancers to prevent injuries and perform to the best of their ability.
Cross-training is when you do an activity regularly that is different than dancing. It helps dancers strengthen other areas of their body which improves quality of talent by strengthening muscles, flexibility training, and cardiovascular exercise. A dancer may feel uncomfortable trying a new activity that they aren’t strong in, but once they improve in their cross-training activity, all aspects of their life can improve.
#2 Proper Nutrition
Dancers tend to have a very intimidating schedule full of hours of repetitive and difficult movements. Because of this, it is important that they get the necessary nutrition they need in order to keep the energy up for each day’s rehearsals. Their body may have a hard time maintaining proper strength if eating and sleeping habits aren’t consistent. A young adult between the age of 18-25 is recommended to get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep a night. While this won’t stop injuries all together, it can definitely help prevent them. Learn more about how nutrition helps with healing here.
#3 Get to Know your Body
Dancing is one of the most physically challenging activities a person can perform. It is key for a dancer to know their body and be able to recognize when they need a break or when there is something that will hurt them. A lot of dancers live by the motto, “push through the pain”, but if they are able to realize what their body can’t do and then work up to where they want to be in a healthy way, there won’t be any severe pain to push through to begin with.
#4 Always warm up before training or performing
Before any physical activity, not just dancing, it is important to warm up. Not only does this lower risk of injury during physical exertion, but also helps focus and concentrate a person’s mind on the task ahead. As a dancer, there are many specific moves and memorizing to do, so focusing on the task is important to perform to the best their ability.
#5 Proper Attire
As a dancer, one of the most important things is their feet. It is important to wear the right size and fit in order to give their feet the appreciation they deserve. Not only can the right shoes improve the health of feet, but also their knees and back. Just like in any other sport it is important to where protection and the right gear in order to stay injury-free.
There is a big variety of injuries I see in dancers. While these tips won’t stop them all together, they will prevent injuries more and keep dancers doing what they love better and healthier. Dancing is one of the most strenuous activities a person can participate in, and that is why it is important to be aware of these tips to keep them doing what they love longer.
Laser Therapy is one of the pieces of cutting-edge technology I use on all of my dancers and athletes. The 830Laser at Lilly Physical Therapy not only helps injured tissues and wounds heal faster, it also makes them stronger and less vulnerable to re-injury. This treatment does NOT wear off like most medicines, electrical stimulation, heat or ice. It increases your body’s own healing power and enhances that process—true healing! If you don’t reinjure the area, the pain shouldn’t return. All of our patients love it. Learn more about laser therapy here.
If dance or sport injuries are slowing you down, I’d like to offer you one complimentary laser treatment (value: $58). Just call my office and mention this blog post to claim you free laser for a limited time only!