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Ballet Talk for Dancers
Jennsnoopy

Hip pain and growth spurts?

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Jennsnoopy

My DD (13) is experiencing some pain in both hips the last few days. She hasn’t changed up her evening routine and classes are progressing normally. She did just increase shoe size to 9 in a street shoe (she has very long and narrow feet). I’m guessing she’s ready to hit another growth spurt (or she is hitting  one right now). She’s currently 5’2”. She’s one of those long and lean types., legs for days and is always working on the strength. Since she really hasn’t done anything different, could the pain be a growth spurt? We have an appt with her PT on Monday. DD says pain is triggered when she does extensions that in the past that have not caused any issues. 

Thanks for any help. 

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AB'sMom

My non-DD is very long and lean. She has gone through some big growth spurts in the past year and has experienced week-long periods of pretty intense back pain. After a series of very thorough spinal x-rays at the orthopedist he determined that there is absolutely nothing wrong with her (other than growing pains). This isn’t to say that there isn’t anything bigger going on with your daughter, I just wanted to share that it’s possible. He suggested that she go to PT and learn some exercises to help her strengthen her muscles. 

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Jennsnoopy

Thanks! The hip pain has started to subside. I appreciate you input. 

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Noodles

Hip and /or knee pain frequently seem to be connected to my dd's growth. I hope your dd's PT appt goes well.

 

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Jennsnoopy

So my DD’s PT is having her pull back from all significant stretch she does at night and giving her some very specific exercises. We love her PT but my DD is very worried she will backslide without being allowed to do her extra stretches. This growth spurt stuff is tricky. PT says she doesn’t want DD to get injured. DD is following instructions but is upset that she will lose everything she has worked for this last 6 months. She is not very flexible and getting both side splits has been a huge thing for her. She’s pretty sure she is going to lose them. I feel sad for her but want to protect her. 

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Eligus

Growth spurts are hard on them mentally (as well as physically).  If your DD is anything like mine was at that age, she will lose flexibility and technique and feel as if (and insist out loud to you) that she'll never, ever get it back and she'll "never" be a dancer (insert dramatic wailing).   I'm kidding, she wasn't quite that bad (except with pirouettes, maybe), but this IS the age where small setbacks do feel insurmountable to them. 

As the parent, you need to focus your DD on the long term.  She doesn't have the perspective that you do.  The splits WILL come back, but injuries can be permanent. 

Think of this time with her as a chance to teach and practice "grit" and mental toughness.  Injuries will happen, she might as well start learning how to handle them now.  In my opinion, one of the biggest challenge in an injury is dealing with the worry of "missing out" or "falling behind."  Articulate that worry for her, and address it head on.  It's the only way to beat back that demon.

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VikingMom

What did he say is actually wrong?  is she overstitching her ligaments, perhaps, and that is the concern of the PT?  If so, not allowing that to heal can cause long-term problems.  I suggest looking into supplements that help the lubrication of the ligaments.

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fuddyduddy

Jennsnoopy- 

my DD was in a very similar situation earlier this year. Her hip began really hurting and the PT banned her from most of the “regular” stretches, including splits! She also wasn’t allowed to do a battement or any more more than 30 degrees, which is basically nothing! 

My dd had the same concerns as your daughter; that she would lose too much and have to “make up” time again. However, that wasn’t the case at all. My dd did every exercise the PT assigned and did them as often as she could. She she was in class and had to sit out for parts, she did her exercises there, too. 

When she was cleared for full movement, she went right back to where she was right before the pain started. It was amazing. I think she’s also a bit stronger now because her core muscles have been built up. 

My advice? Follow the directions given by the PT and the doctors. They know what they are doing and have been at this for a very long time. Good luck to your daughter! 

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Jennsnoopy

Thanks fuddyduddy. She has been cleared for a few stretches and has been fine so far. She says PT work is pretty tough. Lol. It is. Vikingmom, she said it was just tight ligaments due to how fast she has recently grown.

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dtwinmom

In my experience, growth spurts can contribute  to hip tightness, pain and IT band issues. The leg bones grew faster than the muscles and ligaments, but the flexibility cane back. Using a foam roller and PT hip exercises helped my daughter. She learned how to stenghthen and how to warm up properly from the experience. 

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bean9000

My daughter, 13, has been dealing with growth spurts/pain for the last year and a half.  The first one was sudden and she "pushed through the pain" and ended up injuring herself.  She lacked the maturity to understand that her body needed to slow down for a short while, and she feared "falling behind" as well.  2 months of PT with an incredible therapist taught her to treasure and listen to her body to keep it fit and healthy for the LONG TERM.  Now, she can tell when a growth spurt is coming, and she knows to just be patient and avoid "extreme stretching", and also to be less critical if her extensions aren't as high as normal, because "this too shall pass."  She's reaching 5'5", but with an older sister at 5'9", she still may have a ways to go.  

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