Returning to Dance after an Injury
Injuries, for dancers or teachers, are the worst things that can happen. Using your body for your craft means that any ailment that is detrimental to this can have huge repercussions. If you do sustain an injury which prevents you from dancing, it is important that you do your upmost to repair the body fully and return in a safe and sensible manner.
Studies show that 50-80% of dancers suffer from injury from overuse of the body, let alone from muscular imbalances, not warming up or cooling down properly and accidents. There are three phases which dancers must go through in order to get back to optimum health, to enable them to get back to dance. The length of each phase will depend on the injury, and how well you take to rehabilitation, both physically and mentally.
The acute phase requires that the dancer seeks professional advice after the injury has occurred, even if you think it is something that will wear off. A medical professional will be able to give sound, objective advice in order to embark on the most suitable treatment plan; a seemingly simple injury can be complicated to heal as a result of many other factors too.
The recovery phase equates to patience! Once the pain reduces, the body begins to recover and regain its range of motion, strength and endurance. While you are tracking your rehabilitation journey you must ensure you are continuing to work the whole body. Find different ways to do this in order to return to full health, such as by working your muscles with cardiovascular exercise, stretching gently and remembering to rest too!
To return your body to full health, the functional phase avoids repeating the injury. The injured area will now be weaker than the other parts of the body: the tissues must all heal completely and be strengthened again. Remember to keep your mind healthy too, and focus on the progression of your recovery journey.
Image Credit: "strengthening" by tenobre is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, click here