If there is one thought that makes a dancer or a gymnasts cringe, it’s injuries. Injuries are a part of any sport that are both inevitable and unavoidable. However, dancers and gymnasts are at a significantly higher risk of developing injuries when compared to other sports due to the very high demands and the strenuous body positions these athletes must endure. Some injuries may be minor, like scrapes and bruises that you and your child can deal with easily. Others can necessitate going to a allied health or medical professional.
Most injuries occur because some of the muscles involved in the execution of a trick or skill are not strong enough to withstand the stress placed on the joints during that movement. This often happens to children whose bones are still in the process of growing. The most common of these injuries are sprained/strained ankles, closely followed by hip and lower back injuries. Although acute injuries are seen commonly, typically, among dancers and gymnastics, it is overuse injuries that occur most frequently. These overuse injuries occur when the small but vital muscles that support our joints are not strong enough to stabilize and protect the joint they move. If not treated accordingly or neglected, these injuries show up as arthritis later on in the person's 30’s and 40’s or continue as chronic pain. To prevent sprained or twisted ankles, for example, the muscles surrounding the ankle joint should be trained and conditioned well and regularly, and be strong enough to ensure that adequate mobility, stability, and strength is present and maintained. This is where your Chiropractor can help.
Your Chiropractor will perform a full body assessment to gauge your child’s fitness for the sport they desire to play and determine any specific injury risks or weaknesses he or she may have. Chiropractic understands the interconnected relationship of the body and specifically identifies strengths, weakness, and overcompensation in gymnasts and dancers and will treat accordingly to help their body perform at their best throughout the stages of their development and progress in their sport. Treatment may be done through the use of soft tissue releases, mobilisations, adjustments, stretches etc. Your Chiropractor will help and guide you to achieve optimal biomechanical movement and function to help maximize your potential in your dance and/or gymnastic life. They can provide you with a rehabilitation program and advice on self care strategies to ensure you have the help, tools, and knowledge for your journey towards recovery and peak performance, with the goal to keep your child safe and in their sport for as long as possible.
So what are some ways in which you can help your child decrease the risk of injury and keep them dancing and tumbling for longer? Here are some helpful, and easy, tips to help you maximize your child’s potential;
Dr Melanie Xabregas is an experienced and passionate chiropractor with a special interest in helping children experience optimal performance and longeviety in dance and gymnastics. She brings a gentle, caring and friendly approach to her examination and treatment. Learn more about Dr Melanie
Available for consultations Tuesday & Friday between 2pm - 6pm