We spend a lot of time discussing the importance of strength of the feet and legs in dancers. It makes sense - the feet are what connect us to the ground, and especially in a young dancer contemplating commencing pointe work for the first time, the focus is very much on the lower limb. What is often overlooked is the importance of the upper limb - the hands, arms, and shoulders and their connection into the upper back.
Picture this: You recently rolled your ankle landing from a jump at ballet. You’ve had the injury assessed by your physiotherapist and they’ve set you a bunch of exercises to do at home. You conscientiously follow the physiotherapist’s advice for a couple of weeks, your symptoms settle and you return to your pre-injury activities. So you discontinue your physio homework. Three months later... you roll your ankle again, running to catch the tram to school, but this time more severely. Ouch! Sound familiar?
Osgood-Schlatter's Disease is not really a 'disease' - it is a condition of adolescence which affects the patella tendon's attachment to the top of the shin bone. The attachment site is directly over the superior tibial growth plate, the apophysis. In a young person at risk, the area can become irritated and inflamed, resulting in inflammation of the growth plate.
Do you know a young dancer with sore heels? This might be worth a read! We're talking about Sever's disease - What is it? What are the signs and symptoms? Who is prone to developing it? And most importantly...what can we do about it?
I was recently asked to contribute my knowledge and expertise to the Bodywise edition of Dancetrain Magazine - it's the second last article, so scroll down! We focused on methods to assist in physical recovery during busy dance schedules, with tips to help your body during exam and comp time. I've outlined additional non-physical methods in... Continue Reading →
I am often asked by parents what to do in the early stages when their child sustains an injury. My response will differ based on a multitude of factors, such as the mechanism of injury, the physical structures that are likely to be damaged and the chronicity of the injury (is it a fresh injury... Continue Reading →
Few things give me more professional joy and inspiration than teaching the next generation of young dancers about their bodies. Last weekend I ventured out to Bairnsdale in regional Victoria to the Jan Pianta School of Dance - the longest running dance school in East Gippsland, headed up by Jan Pianta. East Gippsland holds a... Continue Reading →
Never underestimate the power of a beautifully controlled, expertly executed rise. Dance physiotherapists place great importance on the technique, control and endurance of a single leg rise to demi pointe when assessing a dancer's readiness to commence pointe work. It gives us valuable insight into where a dancer may be lacking in their development and... Continue Reading →