Top Tips For Injured Dancers By Lucy McPhate

Lucy dance photoCan I still go to class? How can I get better quicker? Physiotherapist Lucy McPhate answers these questions and more in her “Top tips for injured dancers”

1. To rest or not to rest?

It is a common idea that “absolute” rest, like resting with your feet up on the couch and avoiding all activity would help you get better faster. In fact, recovering from an injury is all about “relative rest”. The body recovers quicker and better when it is active, but it has to be in a non-aggravating way. For example, if you usually dance 5 hours per week, I would advise patients to cut back on dancing if it is aggravating their pain. However, it is important to substitute those 5 hours with low impact activity e.g. swimming, exercise bike, home-exercise program and of course, clinical pilates. This prevents de-conditioning and optimises your recovery

2. Clinical pilates

Clinical pilates is an excellent low-impact exercise choice for recovering dancers. At InnerStrength, you are prescribed a tailored program which will help you to rehabilitate your injury as well as treat some factors that may have contributed to the injury in the first place. You are also supervised by a Physiotherapist who will prompt you on correct technique and can track your recovery process. I would recommend at least 2 sessions per week as part of your recovery program. Once you have recovered, some patients choose to keep attending a class a week as “maintenance” to prevent future injuries.

3. Can I still go to class?

Continuing attendance at class is so important for recovery from an injury. It enables you to keep your weekly routine, to keep socially engaged with your friends and teachers, and, of course, to keep up to date with ongoing choreography. The important thing is to be strategic with your attendance at class. There is no point sitting down in the corner of the studio- use the time to practice your home exercises, or to make notes on the choreography. As you progress in your recovery, you will be able to dance, but manage your load by avoiding performing routines “full out” (it is important to communicate this to your teacher- see below!)

4. Communicate with your teachers

The most important point is to communicate to your teacher that you have an injury and your management plan for recovery. This avoids any confusion as why you might be sitting out, or not completing a rehearsal “full out”. At InnerStrength, we write a detailed letter explaining this to your dance teacher, but it is important that you understand what your management plan is, and what you can and cannot do in class.

For any questions regarding these “Top tips”, or to make an appointment with Lucy McPhate, call 8555 4099 today, or book online!