Just like many other sports, Dance does not come without its risks. Requiring incredible strength, flexibility and stamina, a dancer’s exertion levels rival that of a professional athlete, therefore it is likely that dancer’s will experience pain and injury at some point. We take a look at common dance injuries and how to treat them.
Tearing or pulling the hamstring muscle can involve one of more of the three muscles that make up the hamstring, the semitendinosus, semimembranosus or biceps femoris in the back of the upper leg. They occur most frequently during slow stretching, when the dancers hip is flexed and the knee extended. Although they can also occur during fast explosive movements, where overstretching of the hamstring muscle is quick and sudden, especially if the muscle has not been warmed up satisfactorily. A main factor contributing to a hamstring injury is an imbalance between the quadriceps muscle and the hamstrings. Hamstrings control movement and stabilise the knee. If your hamstrings are weak the contraction of the quadriceps and knee extension may be too forceful, causing damage to muscles, ligaments and joints.
How does sports massage aid hamstring recovery?
Recovery from a hamstring tear or strain is obviously dependant on how serious the injury was. Minor muscle strains may only take a few days to heal, whereas an actual tear to the muscle could take weeks or even months to recover fully. Sports massage can help speed up the healing process, reduce pain and minimise scar tissue. Once the injury has been examined to rule out any contraindications, the therapist can begin with a gentle massage to start. This will help reduce any swelling, soften and mobilise tissues within the injured area and improve blood circulation, speeding up the recovery process. As the injury improves and heals the therapist can gradually apply a greater pressure, working deeper into the muscle, helping to build healthy scar tissue which in turn will help prevent the injury reoccurring.
Just like a hamstring injury, sports massage can also improve the common dance injury in the front of the lower leg, known as ‘shin splints’. Many people can suffer from this injury although it is most commonly seen in dancers, especially those with tight calves and short Achilles tendons. The injury can be sustained through incorrect dance technique. When dancers fail to land correctly after jumps or leaps and do not put their heels down fully, therefore not stretching out the calf muscle. This does not allow the muscles in the front of the leg to release, meaning they stay contracted and pull on the shin bone. Dancing on an un-sprung floor can also cause this painful injury.
How can sports massage aid Shin Splints?
Sport massage can help enormously with shin splints by improving flexibility of the muscles in the lower leg. Helping to release the calf muscles and the Anterior Tibial muscle along the shinbone. Massage stretches out the muscle tissue and releases any tension, tightness and knots in the area, which in turn will reduce the stress placed upon the shinbone.
These are just a couple of examples of how sport massage can help in the recovery process of dance injuries. With regular treatment re-occurrence of the injury should be prevented.
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Book an appointment today to discover the benefits of sports massage for dance related injuries. If you have any questions about the services we provide, feel free to give us call us on 01582 761448 and a member of the team will be happy to help.