What I’ve noticed with working with many dancers over the years is at times, ankle mobility, hip mobility or lumboplevic stability can negatively affect alignment during dance movement.
The plie is a fundamental movement not only in ballet but in all dance forms. It is the preparation for jumps, turns, acoustic sounds and all propulsion.
This is why regardless of the dancer’s main discipline, I assess plie.
Another common misconception is that turnout (external “outward” rotation of the hip joint) is generated equally by both hips.
This is not the case. The favoured gesture leg and vs supporting leg can present with contrasting mobility.
In this dancer, the right ilium has an anterior tilt due to tightness in the deep hip flexor (iliopsoas). What most forget is that the deep hip flexor is also an INTERNAL rotator of the hip. In other words, it opposes turnout.
During her dance conditioning session, we focused on the engagement of turnout from the deep external rotators of the hip joint using bands and tactile cues in addition to focusing on foot, spinal and pelvic alignment.
The result was level heels at the bottom of grand plie which improved a balanced turnout generation from not hips as well as stability from the lumboplevic area.
The awareness gained from this can continue to dance training in class and can prevent any injury from developing in the ankle, knee, hip or spine in the future.
Here is another example of dancer demonstrating similar alignment issues on the opposite side.
Being aware of these alignment issues can be overlooked in a class setting when the dance educator is responsible for a general overview of the movement. This is why private dance assessments and conditioning in conjunction with manual therapy by a knowledgeable practitioner is key to the success of a dancer with serious goals.
Unlock facility to unlock artistry.
If you are or have a dancer that would like to be assessed, book your appointment online.
Initial visits are typically longer because it is important to gather information about your symptoms to create a diagnosis.
The history is where you tell your story.
This is the part where you tell me where it hurts, when it started to hurt and what makes it worse.
Then, I will ask you to go deeper.
There are injuries and medical conditions in the past that can have an impact to today’s issue. For example, being an elite figure skater during childhood can create issues with the way you activate your core at the gym. We develop motor patterns that become subconscious and as adults, we don’t know how to adjust these patterns to different types of activities. This “go to” motor pattern, can cause injuries like hip and knee pain for example.
I know, it’s hard to recount past traumas, however even the smallest perceived trauma can have lasting effects. I’ve had patients in my office who downplayed past accidents where they lost consciousness, the car flipped over and the “jaws of life” were required to remove them from the scene. As they recounted the trauma, they said it was “no big deal” and that “no follow up treatment was required.”
Trauma gets stored in the body.
And so, as the holistic detective I gather information about your lifestyle, level of activity, quality of sleep and stress levels to get the whole picture.
In this phase, I do a postural assessment as well as a joint specific assessment in the areas that need to be assessed.
Chiropractors assess beyond the spine. I also assess shoulders, wrists, ankles and hips. Basically if it’s a joint or a muscle, I will assess it if it part of your symptoms.
Specificity and Big Picture
I also investigate kinetic chains. In this way, I don’t “spot search” or “spot treat”. I keep the biomechanics of the movement in mind.
The goal is to improve performance, therefore if you have knee pain, but we don’t address foot posture or the stability in your spine and pelvis, then we won’t get a full reason why your body is functioning the way it is.
After the assessment is complete, I will sit with you to discuss the findings and teach you a mini anatomy lesson so that you understand WHY and WHAT is happening.
When you are empowered to know what is going on, then you can make a positive change.
Report of Findings & Consent
A copy of the summary of findings will be emailed to you with a list of self-care action steps to support your treatment plan.
Treatment options like: Chiropractic, Medical Acupuncture, Myofascial Release, Kinesiotaping and Prescribed Exercise Rehabilitation will be offered.
Once you decide which tools you feel comfortable to heal your issue, then formal consent it taken.
Then it’s healing time.
Treatment is always offered at your initial visit.
Every new patient will be prescribed a curated set of exercises and stretches that will support the healing of their condition via the Physitrack app. The app is free and you will get a complete video library through which you can track your pain levels and your attendance.
It’s all about accountability when you want transformation.
Well there you have it.
The initial visit is all about:
Assessing your body’s mobility, strength and neurological signs
Empowering you with information
Tools for your successful transformation
Now over to you.
If you have a goal that you want to accomplish, comment below.
In the age of constant smart phone use, raising young children or having a full-time job that requires the use of your hands, it’s not surprising that your wrists can hold you back when practising Yoga or Pilates. Repetitive strain can cause tension and pain in the flexor and extensor muscles that course along the forearm and control the movement of the fingers. You will also find that the muscles that control movement of the thumb are also stiff and painful. This chronic muscular tension can negatively impact the alignment of the carpal bones of the wrist, thereby reducing joint mobility.
This misalignment can be experienced as a “pinching” sensation when weight-bearing on the hand. Wrist extension is required while doing Plank exercises, Chatturanga or Downward Dog. Even more advanced asanas like Astavakrasana (Eight-Angle Pose) or Pilates Leg Pull Front depend on strong wrists.
If you can relate, warming up can help to improve joint mobility and reduce pain during your practice. Here are 3 exercises to do before your class begins:
Wrist rotations: Circle your hands clockwise eight times then repeat counterclockwise eight times. This improves circulation and warms up the joints.
2. Wrist flexor stretch with overpressure: Positioning yourself on all fours, place the heel of your hands on the mat in front of you with your hands palms down and your fingers pointing towards your knees. Place a gentle over pressure on your wrists by leaning forward and backwards. You should feel a stretch along the surface of your forearms that face away from you.
3. Wrist extensor stretch with overpressure: Positioning yourself on all fours, place your wrists on the mat in front of you with your hands palms up and your fingers pointing towards your knees. Place a gentle over pressure on your wrists by leaning forward and backwards. You should feel a stretch along the surface of your forearms that face away from you.
If during your practice your wrists are still sore, you can roll the end of your mat several times to create a cushion that will support your wrists in slight flexion. If it is still painful in certain poses, take a rest in child pose. As you continue to practice, stretch and strengthen, your tolerance in wrist weight bearing will improve. If recovery is too lengthy and you are starting to feel concerned, see your health care provider.
The Pilates Full Roll Up exercise is a great way to test how strong your core strength is and the degree of flexion you have in your spine. Dr. Blessyl explains the proper way to do this exercise and how to modify with simple equipment.
If you found this video useful, you can find more tips on my twitter/instagram @drblessyl and Facebook!
Stability must be established before movement. In dance, the shoulder girdle must be strong to support the movement of the performer’s arms. Arm movements help to counter the movements of the legs and neck. In dance, movement will not be controlled or graceful without strength and stability in the shoulder girdle, abdominals and pelvis.
Endurance in the scapulothoracic muscles ensures the following: 1. The dancer avoids developing tension in the upper traps 2. Graceful movement in the arms and shoulders 3. Balance, jumps and turns are effortless
Here is a lat pull down and core strengthening exercise on the Pilates Tower Trainer.
An inspiring speech from the most inspiring woman, friend and patient of mine who turns a diagnosis of incomplete paraplegia to a life of power and function. Your life is a choice. Take the time to listen to her. Put things into perspective MOVEMENT IS FREEDOM in whatever capacity it is http://youtu.be/_6mR6OpoxLw
The transverse abdominus is the deepest layer of abdominal muscle and is a muscle that stabilizes the spine and improves posture. It’s a muscle that requires endurance. Pilates is a great way to strengthen this muscle.