No Pain Not Gain? The Reality of Dealing with Injuries

Dance can be like sports and other rigorous activities in the way that it not only poses a physical challenge, but it also puts the body at a potential hazard in the process. Injuries are far from a foreign topic in the world of dance, especially ballet. There are a few very simple tips for both minor injuries and major injuries that can help your body recover the right way.

Soreness and Minor Injuries
First and foremost, the number one way to prevent injuries is to give your body time to rest and recuperate, especially after

If a specific part of your body is hurting, look into getting it Kinesio Taped. This is generally done by physical therapists, but you can learn how to do it yourself through KT workshops.  (Photo by Jaclyn Younger)
If a specific part of your body is hurting, look into getting it Kinesio Taped. This is generally done by physical therapists, but you can learn how to do it yourself through KT workshops.
(Photo by Jaclyn Younger)

days filled with classes, rehearsals, and performances. While soreness is not always something that dancers pay close attention to, it is important that you are taking the necessary steps such as icing or getting in extra hours of sleep in order to compensate for the toll being taken on the body. However, many dancers, if not all dancers, cannot completely avoid injuries forever. A common way to treat minor injuries is the RICE method due to the high number of leg and foot injuries seen in dancers.
R – Rest
I – Ice
C – Compression
E – Elevation

 

When used correctly, this method can help your body rejuvenate itself without taking too much time away from the studio.

A few other short term, but effective methods (to a certain degree) include cold/hot gels and patches, Kineso taping, Epsom

salt baths, and, only in more serious cases, pain killers to lessen swelling. However, be extremely cautious about what medicines you are putting into your body. Chances are that unless the doctor calls for it, you probably should not use it.

Major Injuries
Major injuries differ greatly when it comes to treatment. Each injury will have slightly different contexts and results; however, there is one very important factor to keep in mind: patience. Truthfully, no dancer enjoys being injured, but keeping a clear mind and a positive outlook can be helpful.

According to Pointe Magazine’s interview with three professional ballerinas who have recently encountered major injuries, there is one upside to going through such an ordeal.

Take note of when something in your body doesn't feel quite right. Be attentive to the little things, they can add up. (Photo by John Meister)
Take note of when something in your body doesn’t feel quite right. Be attentive to the little things, they can add up.
(Photo by John Meister)

Pointe Magazine states that, “Recovering doesn’t have to be a career setback. It can actually make you stronger.”

Finally here’s a few take away points.
1) Always follow the doctor’s orders
2) Listen to your body and address any abnormal pain
3) Never let an injury force you to give up
4) Stay strong

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