Mandy Knaap

+27 21 557 6066 info@mandyknaap.co.za

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DANCE INJURIES

At Mandy Knaap Physiotherapy we treat a range of different musculo-skeletal conditions and sports injuries. One sporting code that we commonly treat injuries in, is in the field of dance. Dancing involves lots of repetitive impact through the legs which can place strain on the joints of the lower limb if done frequently. This can result in inflammatory injuries to the hip, knee and ankles. An example of an inflammatory injury that effects the knee joint is patellofemoral knee pain syndrome (PFKPS). Dancers with PFKPS present to the physiotherapist with a deep pain or dull ache in the knee specifically around the patella that is aggravated by dancing. The knee may feel inflamed, hot and sore in the evening after sport or dancing if very severe. The individual may also experience a stiffness or loss of movement in the affected knee. PFKPS can be treated very effectively through physiotherapy. Our treatment is aimed at improving stability and control through exercises and stretches to strengthen muscles around the hips, knees and ankles. An example of some of these exercises can be seen below. Initially we place a large amount of emphasis on educating about rest and ways to control inflammation through bracing, taping and ice during busy dance periods. Hands on therapy is the main focus of treatment at our practise. We use a range of manual joint mobilizations to maintain good movement and to reduce stiffness and different soft tissue mobilization and massage techniques to release muscle spasms and tightness and to assist with circulation.

If you are aware of any dancers who are experiencing a similar pain in their joints while dancing, it is important that you send them for a physiotherapy assessment as soon as possible. Early referral to physiotherapy can help to prevent further injuries and helps to decrease pain so that dancers can continue to do what they love with strength and confidence and they won’t have to spend long rest periods away from the dancefloor.

A bridging exercise for gluteus strengthening

 

Short arc quadriceps strengthening exercise over a towel or roller

 

Balance re-education on a foam balance pad

 

Glut medius strengthening, clam exercises using a theraband

Please note these exercises are only a guide and are intended as examples for educational purposes. A comprehensive assessment by a trained physiotherapist is needed prior to beginning any exercise programme to ensure the correct exercises are prescribed for your specific injury.