UW Health Sports Rehabilitation in Madison, Wisconsin offers the UW Health Dancers Clinic to care for both injured and healthy dancers.
Dancers and Sports Medicine
Dancers are athletes. Because of their demanding training schedules, dancers are most at risk for overuse injuries. However, it is not uncommon to see acute injuries such as ankle sprains after landing from a grand jete.
The repetitive movements performed by dancers - releves, plies, developpes, sautés - require a unique blend of flexibility with stability, strength and endurance.
Most common dance injuries occur at the foot, ankle, lower leg, hip and back and are caused by:
- Type and frequency of dance
- Poor body alignment
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Type of footwear and floor surface
- Past history of injury which can make them more vulnerable for reoccurrence
Video: UW Health Sports Rehabilitation Dancers Clinic
Dance Injury Evaluation and Treatment
- Dance-specific musculoskeletal evaluation performed by a physical therapist or athletic trainer
- Biomechanical assessment of dance technique, neuromuscular control, strength, flexibility and balance
- Use of Dartfish video analysis, as needed
- Treatment: Therapeutic exercises, manual interventions and home program instruction
- Recommendations for Pointe readiness or Pointe preparation
Our staff believes in a team approach to the dancer's overall health. Since recommendations may include modification of the current dance repertoire, we prefer to involve parents (if applicable, based on dancer age) and current dance instructors in the decision-making process to facilitate this team approach.
Pointe Readiness Preparation and Assessment
This multifaceted program is geared toward preparing the younger dancer to go on Pointe or assessing a dancer's readiness to go on Pointe once they reach the appropriate age. Elements that factor into the assessment include the dancer's age, physical capabilities and the number of years they have been in ballet.
This assessment is available to both healthy and injured dancers and includes:
- A 60-minute appointment that includes video analysis, brief musculoskeletal screen, physical exam and professional recommendations related to Pointe readiness to help reduce and prevent injuries
- For healthy dancers, the physical examination consists of screening strength and flexibility
- For injured dancers, the physical examination will include special orthopedic tests to assess the integrity and recovery of the injured tissues
- Biomechanical assessment comprised of eight tests that challenge neuromuscular control, strength, flexibility and balance
- Follow-up discussion to improve understanding of readiness using the Pointe Readiness Scoring Continuum
- Recommendation of exercises and suggestions for improvement based on any physical limitations.
- Consultations with injured dancers will be billed to insurance as physical therapy or athletic training. Please contact your insurance company to verify your coverage.
- The 60-minute sessions for healthy dancers costs $250.