They are the second most common type of injury amongst professional dancers, but they can be horrible! One spinal injury tends to have a ricochet effect, leading to a range of problems with frightening names. Hyperlordosis, spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, lumbar fracet sprains, and piriformis syndrome are all on the ‘to be avoided’ list. Here is a quick summary of the current literature and guidance concerning how to avoid injuries, and what to do if you feel that ominous twinge.
An Ordinary Ache, Or Something More Serious?
Men and women’s physiology is different. For instance, if women pull their quadratus lumorum it will hurt low in the spine. For men, the pain will be higher up. Furthermore, each of our bodies look different, feel different, and act differently. Therefore, if something feels wrong, go and see your GP or sports physio. However, when it comes to back injuries, the main warning signs are radiating pains or a spasm. Pain that shoots down the leg, or which rockets up towards the shoulders, is a sign that something has gone amiss and needs to be dealt with.
What Do I Do?
Back injuries are most commonly treated with rest. This allows the tissues to heal. Minor injuries can resolve themselves in as little as a week, but more serious ones can take up to a year. When the injury is particularly painful, recovery might involve steroid injections.
What Causes Dancing Spinal Injuries?
There are very well documented risk factors. These include fatigue, weight loss, poor muscle tone, and – you’ve guessed it – poor footwear. Fatigue leads to accidents, whilst weight loss and poor muscle tone weaken and destabilise joints. This can result in forces being shifted unevenly so that areas such as the spine absorb too much stress. Even if these issues are very minor – such as a dancer being only slightly underweight – badly made dance shoes amplify the problem, meaning that a small situation can escalate into a long-term health concern.
How Can Professional Dance Shoes Help?
Ergonomic professional dance shoes are designed to support the foot and ankle. There are several ways that this helps to reduce spinal injury risk. High quality dance shoes help improve posture, and this lowers the risk of accidents. Heel materials such as carbon fibre are lightweight, yet good at absorbing and safely deflecting stress so that it doesn’t travel into the spine. Good quality suede soles offer the grip needed to take control of the dance floor, whilst heel and arch supports ensure that the foot is in the best possible position. It is a delicate science, and an important one for everyone who is serious about their health.
What Is The Ray Rose Solution?
Our ArtSport range has been created with ergonomic perfection in mind. The Ladies’ X-Range also offers cutting edge design with special metatarsal support, and an arsenal of heel orthotics. If you have any questions about finding the ideal professional dancing shoes, feel free to drop us a line.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons