Ballet Dancing–Ouch!

In a sports medicine journal published in Australia it was pointed out that in order to manage classical ballet dancers with overuse injuries it is necessary to understand the art form, have precise knowledge of anatomy and awareness of certain conditions.

“Turnout” (a rotation of the leg that comes from the hips, causing the foot and knee to turn outward, away from the center of the body and thereby  allows for greater extension of the leg, especially when raising it to the side and rear)  is essential to classical ballet technique and is the basis on which all ballet movement follows, however it is frequently the cause of overuse injuries.

Common presenting conditions caused by turnout are second metatarsal stress fractures, tendinitis  and posterior ankle impingement syndromes. Ballet dancers also have persistent shin pain  due to chronic compartment syndrome and stress fracture of the  anterior tibia. They also suffer from constant knee, hip and back pain.

In order to speed  recovery of dancers, it is vital for the sports medicine team to cooperate. This allows the dancer to benefit from accurate diagnosis, technique correction, getting the full range of manual therapies to soft and joint tissue, appropriate strengthening therapy and maintenance of dance fitness during the time they are out of class with (Pilates and other) exercises as well as  nutrition advice. Most of the overuse ballet conditions do well with a combination of conservative therapies.

Intensive exercise therapy is also available through the use of the LEGTUTOR. Part of the TUTOR system (which also includes the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR and 3DTUTOR) the LEGTUTOR consists of a safe comfortable leg brace with position and speed sensors that precisely record three dimensional hip and knee movements. The LEGTUTOR has a range of motion limiter that can limit the dynamic range of knee extension and flexion. Rehabilitation games allow the patient to exercise Range of Motion (ROM), speed and accuracy of movement. The LEGTUTOR facilitates evaluation and treatment of the lower extremity including isolated and combined hip and knee movements.

Originally devised for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, brain or spinal cord injury, CP, MS, stroke or other upper or lower limb disabilities the TUTOR system is currently treating patients at leading U.S. and European hospitals and clinics. The TUTORS are available for use by adults and children from the age of 5 and are fully certified by the FDA  and CE. They are also available for ”at home” patients through telerehabilitation.

See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for further information.

 

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