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Dancers and sports medicine
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
Type of footwear and floor surface
Past history of injury which can make them more vulnerable for reoccurrence
Dancer injury evaluation and treatment
The UW Health Sports Rehabilitation team understands the unique physical demands of dance. For dancers who are experiencing pain or injury, our program offers an evaluation and treatment plan to help them return to their activity.
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
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.
Additional programs to help you improve your skills
UW Health Sports Performance offers programs for healthy dancers who are interested in improving their technical skills. These programs are not covered by insurance and participants will be billed prior to their session.
Athletic performance and conditioning for dancers
This Sports Performance program is geared towards healthy dancers of all levels and dance backgrounds. It is not a program designed to teach dance techniques as you would learn them in a studio. We will be focusing on the elements of strength, stability and control that dancers need to improve technical skills. You will learn how to move as an athlete and become a stronger dancer who can move with correct muscle activation to help prevent injuries.
Lumbo-pelvic alignment and postural awareness with basic dance positions
Core strength awareness and strength building based on the Pilate's method
Movement (neuromuscular) control
Strength and stability training
Awareness and correction of muscle imbalances
Visit 1 (60 minutes)
Strength and Stability training introduction
Visit 2 (30 minutes)
Introduce individual exercise plan
At the end of the 90 minutes, dancers receive a customized strength and stability training program to work on independently.
The cost of the program is $225. Additional visits can be scheduled with your clinician at a rate of $199 for 60 minutes.
Pointe readiness preparation and assessment
This Sports Performance program prepares the younger dancer to go on Pointe or assesses 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.
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 cost $150.
Meet our team
Sports rehabilitation experts by your side