Celebrate National Dance Day April 29
By Katie Oakley, PTA, Aquacare Salisbury – Milford Street
April 29 is National Dance Day! At Aquacare, we are celebrating by educating dancers about the importance of injury prevention.
Aquacare’s Dance Medicine Program offers a unique experience for athletes and performing artists providing individualized physical therapy tailored to all dance backgrounds. The dance medicine team, Kathryn Fives and Katie Oakley, provide one-on-one care to properly diagnose and return dancers safely to their activities.
In addition to their physical therapy background, they offer an array of experience and expertise in performing arts and sports medicine. Dance medicine is not only important for acute injuries, but also chronic injuries and injury prevention as a dancer progresses through their career.
During a recent study researchers found during an academic year 97% of dancers reported at least one dance-related injury. The most common sites of injury include foot/ankle, knee and low back. Whether you are a dancer, parent, choreographer, or dance teacher, it is important to be aware of common dance injuries and how to avoid them.
Common Dance Injuries
Dancers tend to demonstrate weak hip musculature. When the hips are weak it contributes to imbalances down the chain resulting in improper technique and mechanics of the knee and ankle. These compensation patterns lead to an increased risk for injury. Some of the most common injuries include:
• Hip Injuries: labral tears, hip impingement, hip flexor tendinitis, hip bursitis and SIJ dysfunctions.
• Knee Injuries: patellofemoral pain, ligaments tears, meniscus tears.
• Ankle/Foot Injuries: Achilles tendonitis, posterior ankle impingement.
Injury or muscle soreness? How to tell the difference
Muscle soreness typically lasts 24 to 48 hours.
DOMS is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness that occurs around day two or three after activity. Pain that wakes you up at night, is sharp, increases with activity, or causes you to compensate for the pain should be assessed by a doctor or physical therapist who specializes in dance-related injuries.
Cross training during and in between dance seasons is extremely important. Certain muscle groups are more important than others when it comes to dancing and the balance between the muscles is what prevents injuries. When muscles are over- or under-worked imbalances can occur, leaving dancers prone to injury. Along with cross training, we apply these exercises to certain dance movements. Dance medicine specialists can identify certain moves that are more difficult and challenging for the dancer.
To learn more about the Dance Medicine Program at Aquacare Physical Therapy visit our website at www.aquacarephysicaltherapy.com/services/dance-medicine. To schedule a consultation or appointment with a dance medicine specialist, call 410-548-7600. Follow @aquacaredancemedicine on Instagram.
Katie Oakley, PTA, is a physical therapist assistant at Aquacare Salisbury – Milford Street. She graduated from Wor-Wic Community College with an Associate of Applied Science – Physical Therapist Assistant degree. In addition to this, Katie also has a Bachelor of Science – Exercise Science degree from Salisbury University. Katie has worked for Aquacare Physical Therapy in various positions for the last six years while completing her degrees. More recently, Katie has gone on to receive her Dance Medicine Certification. Katie has danced competitively for 16 years where she trained at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City, performed at Disney, and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Katie then transitioned into teaching and choreography. She choreographed for James M. Bennett’s Rock n’ Roll Revival, Community Players, and the Theatre Department at Salisbury University. Katie believes the need for Dance Medicine Physical Therapy is imperative in our area with multiple dance studios, pre-professional ballet studios, theatre companies and universities. If you are a PT or PTA and looking for an excellent career, Aquacare is hiring. Learn more: www.aquacarephysicaltherapy.com/careers.