Jump to content
Ballet Talk for Dancers
Guest beckster

post-class aches and pains

Recommended Posts

Kate B
My point in making the comment was that skipping 3 weeks of class is a guaranteed method of producing pain.

But that sort of pain isn't a bad thing, is it? Like we've said, we can massage or bathe or dance that sort of pain away.

 

We don't have advil here either, but I'm assuming it's ibuprofen or some similar over the counter painkiller.

Share this post


Link to post
lampwick

Advil is ibuprofen.

 

I take Advil if I'm especially sore or if I have menstral cramps. It works great. Within a half hour, even the worst cramps will be completely gone. I never even thought that someone would consider these "painkillers". It's a mild, relatively safe anti-inflammatory. What's wrong with taking them? I can understand not wanting to take a prescription strength painkiller, masking pain is not good if you are injured. And massage is AWESOME for getting rid of lactic acid-type pain. But Advil is so safe--why not take them for the occasional achy day?

 

What makes me nervous are the dancers who shoot themselves up with cortisone and stuff like that. I'd NEVER want to depend on something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
dido

And, as the person on the receiving end, I'll have to agree with Barre Talk. Like most of us I just grin and bear it when things ache, and I'll probably do the same tomorrow (first class after 3 weeks off) but at times I wonder why? I mean on those days when it hurts to sit down, hurts to stand up, hurts to breath (and not because you really are hurt, just because you're lazy and haven't gone to class in ages) why not take a simple over the counter thing so it's easier to put your (ballet) shoes on that night?

Share this post


Link to post
Funny Face

Many years ago, I got the flu (I've had it twice in my adult life), and I was feeling pretty agonized. Then I decided to try taking this pill. It was a miracle! Pain gone! I felt so much better within minutes. It was ........ an aspirin. Pills were so foreign to me that this was truly a wonder drug. Another reason to be prudent about how much and how often.

 

I'm one of those who would rather go with the pain, for better or worse. At least I haven't narcotized myself to the point of endangering myself (by pushing myself past a particular limitation), which is a real possibility. I think we all have friends whose purses seem to be an annex of the local drugstore. They've got something for everything. And yes, that mind set is not one I agree with.

 

Most doctors will advise to go ahead and take an anti-inflammatory for joint pain so that the inflammation doesn't become exacerbated. And, I understand that some women would rather take something for monthly discomfort than try to push through it. If it's a matter of rehearsal, then there aren't a lot of options. If it's class, then I say lie low for a couple of days -- take just the barre, perhaps, then watch the rest, put your feet up. And of course, there are varieties of monthly pain, some being to the point of constituting very real disorders that need more tending to.

 

The danger with painkillers (opiates) is the way that people so easily become dependent upon them. The medical community itself suffers quite a bit in this respect, with so many doctors, nurses and other health care workers in rehab, often repeatedly.

 

For a dancer or athlete, it starts out with an injury, say, of the back. The orthopedist prescribes this pill that not only takes away the pain but makes the world seem quite lovely. It's difficult for many patients to give up this artificial euphoria. And it takes progressively more of the prescription to achieve the same feeling of peace and goodwill towards men. For whatever reason, some people are more predisposed to addiction than others. I'd rather not take that chance, even after various surgeries beyond what is absolutely necessary. (I think after cancer I took exactly three Percocet).

 

Even without the danger of addiction, it's important to remember that if you live long enough, you might eventually overtax your liver with medication, same as alcohol. That's why liver profiles are often ordered within even a couple of years of treating someone with painkillers.

 

I think Paul makes a good point about massage. We're still kind of in the dark ages about it. It's often the last option someone will consider. One of the professors at our university and I were going to the sports medicine clinic on campus for our respective back injuries. We were prescribed medication and physical therapy. She, in fact, was the one who promoted the clinic to me. Long story short -- I did not feel much improved after several months (I did the therapy but no meds). But over the summer, doing Pilates (which they had advised me NOT to do), rendered me completely asymptomatic. Meanwhile, the professor ditched the clinic and began going to a massage therapist for the first time, and it was like she found the Holy Grail. She told me she was embarrassed to be teaching for this long and not to have thought of this option sooner. Should I have new problems, I'll try this route myself.

Share this post


Link to post
BarreTalk
I mean on those days when it hurts to sit down, hurts to stand up, hurts to breath (and not because you really are hurt, just because you're lazy and haven't gone to class in ages) why not take a simple over the counter thing so it's easier to put your (ballet) shoes on that night?

My work schedule requires too much travel, and when I travel I rarely have time or energy for a ballet class. Hotel room barre and stretching is some help, but when I finally get back to class, I feel it. I consider the pain to be penance for my absence.

 

Looking at it holistically, the fewer drugs you put in your system (even "a simple over the counter thing") the better.

Share this post


Link to post
Mel Johnson

Wait a minute! :)

 

Let's not go waving chemical terms around that we don't understand. Not all painkillers, analgesics, are opiates, containing the opioid radical. Let's not mix the effect with the politically-charged chemical name. The human body manufactures its own opioid compounds in the form of endorphins, and I don't hear many people clamoring for the removal of the brain. Well, some, but I suspect they've already had that done!

Share this post


Link to post
Amy Reusch

Ibuprofen is the generic name for Advil.

 

I hate to horrify you all, but I take 3 before class because it tends to make me less sore afterwards, and my flexibility is generally better. But, I'm lucky if I get to class twice a week, and I'm careful not to take it in between. I believe the body gets used to it and then the whole thing begins to backfire. I don't take it because it's a pain reliever, I take it because it's an anti-inflamantant (sp?) and I think it's better to have my tendons less inflamed when I use them rather than more. I have had chronic tendonitis since I had to do a 6 month stint on steroids (for an eye problem)... there is scar tissue in in my heels probably left over from dancing on sprained ankles as a teenager and ever since the steroid treatment the tendonitis has been chronic... I took a year off and there was no improvement, first day back tendonitis was right there waiting for me. Probably I should have one of those orthoscopic surgeries to remove the scar tissue, but as I'm a recreational dancer in my 40s, I can't justify the expense. The only thing that seems to help is getting to class often enough to strengthen the affected area, and I need the advil to get to that point. If I take class without the advil, I pay dearly for it... I sincerely believe I do more damage by dancing without the advil than I do with the advil. However, I would never recommend a young serious student abuse their future this way... I'd recommend they find a doctor/PT and do whatever needs to be done.

 

By the way, I NEVER take it for headaches.

Share this post


Link to post
Funny Face

Mjr Mel, I think I was misunderstood, in that I was trying to clarify what I meant by painkillers, rather than define them as all being opioids (what I meant to say rather than opiates, by the way). My reference is to that group of medications commonly prescribed by orthopedic doctors for back injuries, even simple muscle strain -- e.g., Oxycontin, Lortab, Percocet. In my work, I constantly see people developing addictions, as there is often not nearly enough warning to the patients about that risk. In fact, one of the communities in my locale received the dubious distinction in a recent issue of Time magazine as being something of an Oxycontin capital in the U.S. My concern with regard to dancers is that injury or strain at some point or another is likely to happen, and if they seek conventional medical treatment, it is also likely that they will be prescribed such medications, and need to realize that we are no longer talking about simple anti-inflammatory or analgesic medication.

Share this post


Link to post
Kate B
By the way, I NEVER take it for headaches.

I think most people in the UK do! It works for bad stressy migrainey headaches . I've not really thought of it as an anti-inflammatory but I know that is what it is. Maybe attitudes/understanding of its properties towards it are a bit of a cultural thing. Anyway, I don't think you are wrong in doing what you are doing - I have never been in that position so I can't say what I would do.

 

I think what a lot of us have been saying is that there is no need to take any type of medication for non-injury related aches and pains, that these pains are a form of 'penance' or satisfaction, and that people who take painkillers or other meds to hide the pain of a chronic injury - well, that's their perogative. :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Mel Johnson

OK, just so we understand one another. Oxycontin is, after all, not "in Kansas anymore". Over-the-counter medications, when used in accordance with dosage directions, including maximum dosage and maximum duration of usage, can be very helpful. Dancers, producing their own endorphins at a remarkable rate, can tend to feel pain less than ordinary mortals. Some of our threshholds of pain are unusual when compared with the general population's.

Share this post


Link to post
Kate B

What I want to know is why do I ache the day after - the day after a heavy class? :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
elise

oh i have that same problem. dance on monday night, tuesday a little sore, wednesday can't walk! luckily by thursdays kickboxing class i am feeling better.

Share this post


Link to post
Kate B

Maybe the answer would be to have a dance class on Tuesday? Then we might postpone the pain... :yes:

Share this post


Link to post
Xena

Ok, you really want to know the scientific explaination as to why your muscles feel sore days after actual exercise? Very funny as I was just reading about this in a science magazine last week....

 

The actually terminology is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and means that you feel pain, tenderness and stiffness in the muscles hours or days after prolonged or unacustomed exercise.

The feeling of discomfort usually arises 24 hours after exercise, peaks at about two days and then gradually subsides. It is during this 24-48 hour period after exercise, that muscle swelling and stiffness occur, usually resulting in a reduced range of motion and muscle weakness.

Now, a lot of people attribute this as a result of metabolic processes, i.e. lactic acid build up etc , but this is not the case, because the onset of muscle soreness is delayed.

 

In actual fact it is caused by localised damage, for example, miroscopic tears to the membranes and protein filaments or muscle fibres.

 

Now, when we exercise we try to improve our performance by progressivly challenging our muscles. For example, if you were running 3 miles one week, you may increase to 4 miles the next week and so on. This is called progressive overloading and causes the microscopic tears I mentioned previously. Normally, we will experience a gradual overload/repair cycle, and have moderate soreness a day later. DOMS, however, is caused when the expected load dramatically increases, causing a greater number of tears. This in turn takes longer for scar tissue to form. Scar tissue grows in a perpendicular fashion across the repair sites, and once the new tissue is in place you experience the soreness that comes with DOMS as you try to reactivate and stretch the new, less pliable muscle. It doens't take long for its strength and flexibility to be restored.

Share this post


Link to post
Kate B

Thanks for this Xena, it is interesting. One question though - is it good to keep stretching through the achy-ness or to give it a rest for a day or 2?

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...