with advice from Elisabeth Wheeler, PT, DPT; Ann Cowlin, MA, CSM, CCE; Mark Salandra, CSCS; and Wayne Seeto, OT, MSPT
Most dancers know that one of the challenges of the performing arts is to make it look easy, effortless – and painless. According to Elisabeth Wheeler, a physical therapist who works with dancers at Allegheny Chesapeake Physical Therapy in Pennsylvania, up to 90% of dancers will have an injury at some point during their training. So whether you are a professional dancer in a company, or one who takes classes for physical (and mental) activity, it is important to pay attention to your body in order to avoid injury.
Elisabeth notes that dancers can have a variety of injuries throughout the body:
- Feet and ankles: Lateral ankle sprains, shin splints/stress fractures, Achilles tendonitis, and flexor hallucis tenosynovitis (also known as trigger toe)
- Knees: Patellofemoral knee pain, meniscal or ACL injuries, patellar tendonitis, and pretibial or prepatellar bursitis
- Hips: Strains, and snapping hip syndrome
- Back: Strains and sprains, facet syndrome, stress fractures and spondylolisthesis