March 12th, 2020

Physical Therapy for Dancers

Dance-Specific treatment

Dancers use their bodies to create extraordinary movements with control. Understanding the range of motion and strength required to make these movements takes special training. Each of the various dance styles from Ballet to Modern places different demands on the body. Dancers are considered performance athletes, whose training makes them susceptible to distinct types of injuries, both acute and chronic.

Pain is not a normal side effect of dancing. Many dancers suffer chronic pain. Or you may have an injury and want to return to top performance quickly and safely. A physical therapist trained in dance rehabilitation can help you reduce pain, avoid permanent damage, recover from an injury and improve your performance.

Dance rehabilitation specialists help you safely return to dance by relieving pain and improving your quality of movement.

We incorporate a multidisciplinary team approach in the care of each dancer. Our team is dedicated to educating professional, student and recreational dancers on preventing dance-related injuries and returning them to dance with minimal time lost.

Our specialists are trained to care for the youth and adolescent dancer, both male and female. And we understand the physical and technical demands of dance and values the athleticism required.

COMMON DANCE INJURIES Our treatments can help with:

Foot and ankle injuries:

  • Anterior ankle impingement (compression of tissues in the joint)
  • Posterior ankle impingement
  • Os trigonum (extra bone in ankle), os trigonum syndrome
  • FHL tendonitis (flexor hallucis longus tendonitis)
  • Posterior tibialis tendonitis
  • Sesamoid stress injury or sesamoiditis
  • Metatarsal fracture
  • Lisfranc injuries
  • Ankle sprains
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Sinus tarsi syndrome
  • Bone stress injuries

Knee injuries:

  • Patellofemoral pain
  • IT band syndrome
  • Meniscal tears
  • ACL tears
  • Pes anserine bursitis
  • Osgood Schlatter’s
  • Sinding Larsen Johannson Syndrome
  • Plica syndrome
  • Hoffa’s fat pad impingement

Hip injuries:

  • Labral tears (hip cartilage)
  • Hip impingement or femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
  • Hip instability
  • Snapping hip syndrome
  • Hip flexor tendonitis
  • Greater trochanter bursitis
  • Pelvic apophysitis
  • Avulsion injuries
  • Bone stress injuries

Back injuries:

  • Spondylolysis (stress injury in one of the vertebrae)
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Apophysitis
  • Muscle strain

Rehabilitation for dancers

During a dance medicine evaluation, dancers will receive a thorough and complete physical therapy evaluation that will identify any musculoskeletal deficiencies and impairments. Our physical therapists will complete a detailed dance history and comprehensive physical examination focusing on the neuromotor, biomechanical and physiologic aspects of dance. Following the evaluation, the physical therapist will develop a unique treatment plan to address the dancer’s specific needs.

Treatment may incorporate: flexibility, manual therapy, neuromuscular control, and functional strengthening, stabilization and plyometrics within dance specific movements. Our physical therapists are trained to identify improper technique specifically related to dance as well as other functional imbalances that may impact a dancer’s movement pattern.

Community-based services

Our team is available to provide information sessions on dance injury prevention that would be beneficial to dancers, teachers, and parents at local dance studios or schools. Contact us or schedule a free assessment to find out how we can help!

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