Physical Therapy For Dancers
Dance is an athletic activity that requires great balance and strength but can also produce several injuries. As rehabilitation directly targeted for dancers is becoming more common and accessible, physical therapists have been able to improve their overall physical capabilities. Dancers often need physical therapy because of injuries from overuse or improper technique. Sometimes a physical therapist, especially one with dance experience, can find issues that a primary physician might not. Physical therapists will evaluate all aspects of a dancer’s body and movement including the muscles, joints, proprioception, and balance. They can explain what techniques to use in a class or performance, and what steps to avoid. This will overall allow for progress in the dancer’s functional capacity.
Physical therapists work on the dancer’s technique by using individually selected exercises. An imperfection in structural anatomy or a slight use of improper technique may severely affect a dancer’s movement and potentially result in injury, So in therapy, the dancer will learn how to do particular exercises to improve those aspects of movement and build up their physical abilities. Rather than taking a passive approach to treatment and telling a dancer to rest, a physical therapist will have the dancer practice increasingly difficult exercises or stretches to improve their movement and balance. It is more beneficial to detect what exactly is wrong and stop doing that than to stop movement altogether. Through active exercises tailored specifically for that individual, the patient will focus on increasing their strength, flexibility, and balance.
Physical therapists can improve a dancer’s ease of movement and decrease their risk of injuries or falls. Through individually chosen exercises, a dancer will work at the center and at home to improve muscular strength, posture, and joint mobility, as well as learn stretches to reduce muscle tightness. Altogether, the exercises will become progressively more difficult to ultimately restore the dancer’s movement quality and skills while preventing any potential injuries in the future.
Want to read more? Check out this article: Physical Therapists Help Dancers Stay Healthy