Some sports, such as football, baseball, hockey, golf, etc..., are always in the spotlight and are commonly recognized to have injuries and specific programming to return the field. Then there are other sports, list gymnastics, cheerleading, dancing, and the performing arts, that we don't hear much about regarding injuries and their specific needs when returning to competition and/or performing.
Perhaps it is the grace of the performance that doesn't allow us to see the struggle behind the beauty? Or simply the magic of showbiz that takes us somewhere special, forgetting that the performers are people that get injured, have aches and pains, and require consistent training to maintain their superb stamina and level of fitness.
But who is a resource for these athletes and performers? A physical therapist with the experience and passion for the intricacies that are requires day in and day out to be flexible yet strong, soft yet firm, mobile yet stable and carry out the hour upon hours of training that are required! An area of physical therapy known as Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapy.
What is Dance and Performing Arts Physical Therapy?
Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapy is a form of physical therapy that focuses on treating dancers and performing artists. In the ways that baseball, football and hockey players have protocols and clinicians for their rehab; dancers and performing artists should also be seen by a specific clinicians and therapists who understand their goals, capabilities, and impairments. Dancers and performers, like any other athlete, have certain expectations and physical requirements that are specific to their sport that should be understood by an expert.
What is the benefit of being seen a Performing Arts Physical Therapist?
Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapists are trained specifically with experience in the performing arts and dance world. They understand the requirements needed to return to the spotlight. At one point or another, most dancers suffer from an injury of some sort. Most commonly, dancers injure their hips, knees, ankles, feet, and/or their lower back. This is due to extreme levels of flexibility required by techniques or routines and the strain these "not so human" positions put on their bodies. Many dancers and performers may report pain without having a direct injury to the painful area. They may suffer from overuse injuries, or the level of training is greater than the rest time between classes that does not allow for proper healing of their body. This leads muscular imbalances, compensations of movement to avoid pain. Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapists are knowledgeable in diagnoses that are typical in dancers and performers with an appreciation for the intricate movement requirements of dancers and performers. Having a therapist who understands these areas is crucial in achieving your goals!
What can Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapists do in the clinic?
A Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapist will perform all the necessary tests and measures needed to determine the level of injury and provide you with an exercise program specific to your needs. Given their training, they can observe and correct any flaws in technique that could be contributing to your pain (sickling feet, rolling over the arch in 1stposition, forced turn out, weakness in glutes, etc...). Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapists can use their foundation of exercise and their knowledge and appreciate for the arts to prepare you to return to the stage, or the classroom, with the tools you need to maintain and prevent any further injury.
Many dancers are involved in different genres of dance. Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapists know and understand the benefit of cross training (practicing two different styles of sports to gain strength and performance). While in the clinic your therapist should include exercises from your style of training but from different styles of dance and sports to maximize your strength and outcome!
Listen to your body!
Think you would benefit from being seen by a Dancing & Performing Arts Physical Therapist? Call us and schedule an appointment today.
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