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Ballet Talk for Dancers

I've overworked

Jaana Heino

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Ok, here is a new experience for me: having overworked and (slightly) injured myself in the process.


My last week's training was unusually strenous - not any individual class was exactly over my limits, but several of them were quite to the limit, and put together they seem to have been too much.


I've got two problems because of this: first, I've managed to get the upper parts of my inner thighs so tight and painful that walking is not fun at all, let alone trying to stretch or really work them. Second, I feel absolutely wasted in all of my body, weak and tired sort of like having a mild flu (without other flu-like symptoms).


Any hints how to get rid of this, and missing as few classes as possible? :D


I don't think I can skip the beginner swords class today, as I'm expected to help out there, but that's a low impact class and I can take it really easy there. Other than that, should I go to ballet classes and do whatever I can, or stay out completely? Should I stretch or not the painful muscles?


I've got a sauna, and it helps the painful muscles for some time, but it makes me more tired, and the pain returns when the muscles cool down. I've tried cold on them too, but that just made them worse immediately, so I stopped. I don't think they are actually sprained, though.

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The first step in any case like this is rest. Obviously, you are out of the acute phase, the first seventy-two hours, of what may be a number of small nuisance injuries. The sauna is a good idea, as heat is a palliative (pain-reliever), but you can enhance the effect of the heat by icing the painful areas first, and then taking the sauna, or doing the classic dash from the sauna into a snowbank (not for the squeamish!). The contrast application helps to minimize the damage in the injured area, then provide pain relief and enhanced healing. I'd say take a seventy-two hour break. Do nothing at all that's in any way strenuous, and then return to class, with the hope that the pain will go away on its own.:)

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Oh, alright. I guess I sort of knew that rest is the solution, but was hoping otherwise.


One thing ballet has now taught me is that it's possible to overwork and overstretch without actual pain involved during the training; I had sort of thought that if something was wrong it would really hurt, not just feel uncomfortable. I suppose I have to learn to listen to my body better.


(And yes, I have the snowbank, too, unless it has all melted in today's sunshine, and friends indeed went from sauna to it a few days ago, but I think I'll settle for ice inside...:))

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