- Wear good footwear
Many dancers forget that their feet are “the money” and need to be treated with care. Dancing places a lot of stress on the feet, so it is important that at all other times, as much as possible, you are wearing supportive footwear. Runners or lace-up school shoes are an excellent choice. Try to limit the amount of time you are in T-bars, ballet flats or thongs.
- Manage your load
Dancing places a lot of stress on the body, particularly joints like the ankles, knees and back. Always consider how much load you are putting your body under per week- if you have increased the amount you are dancing, you may have to cut back on other high impact activities like jogging. However, swapping for lower impact activities, like clinical pilates or swimming can be an excellent way to maintain your strength and fitness.
- Know RICER
It is important to know how to manage an acute injury (such as sprains, strains or bruises). Remember to REST from the aggravating activity, ICE the area for 20 mins every hour on the first day, COMPRESS with a compression bandage, ELEVATE the area and REHABILITATE by making an appointment immediately with your physiotherapist.
- Don’t push yourself
Many of the injuries I see are a result of dancers increasing their hours of training too much or too quickly. Always increase your number of classes incrementally- it will save you a lot of time recovering from an injury later!
- Have fun!
Never forget the reason you started dancing in the first place- the friends, the laughter and your studio being your “home away from home”. Even if you are recovering from an injury you can still enjoy all of these things, so make sure you keep having fun!
Lucy McPhate sees Dance Physiotherapy clients on a Saturday at InnerStrength of Bayside. Appointments can be made online or by calling 8555 4099.