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Ballet Talk for Dancers

September Whine....?


Serendipity

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As if getting old weren't bad enough (and having bad feet, bad hips and a bad back)... Today was incredibly hot and muggy. I went to a modern class in the morning and at some point as were were going across the floor doing some very simple turns, my foot decided to stay stuck to the floor while the rest of me turned. Something got pulled in my knee and it does NOT feel good. I slapped a patch on it as fast as you can say "Flector!" and I've been icing all day, but I'm feeling a bit worried. My knees are the one thing that have managed to not give me problems up to this point. I feel so old and cranky! :dry:

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My knees hurt in sympathy!

 

With the quick work you did, hopefully it was just a slight pull and will go away. I'll give advice I know that *I* rarely take and that's to take the next set of classes off and let the thing rest. Stay with ice and if it's still bothering you after 48 hours, see someone.

 

And, yeah, it is not pleasant having an old bod. *sigh*

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Thanks Serendipity. Yes, I think I'll be taking this week off, just to be safe. I slept with the Flector patch on last night and this morning when I woke up my knee felt ok. But then I started moving around, I guess effects of the patch wore off and it started feeling twingy again. :dry: I iced it and have another patch on it now.

 

I will admit that I'm being completely paranoid/hypochondriachal and have already googled ACL injury/ACL tear, etc. Apparently if that happens you usually hear or feel a pop, followed by pain and instability, and there tends to be lots of swelling. I don't feel instable - just twingy and a little painful to the inside of the lower part of my knee. No swelling. So I'm hoping it's just a strained something.

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I don't know if this is a whine or a legitimate question. Maybe it's one that others have also had, particularly those starting out as adults. I am wondering if I'm wasting my time trying to develop turnout and flexibility when in fact very little potential for improvement exists. Is there any way for someone to look at a person and say, OK here's how much turnout you actually have? Or potential for flexibility? Here's the whiny part: some nights I just feel so discouraged. I'm trying so hard to find and use my turnout muscles, for example, only to look at myself and realize that my turnout is just abysmal. And I get to wondering if I'm putting all of this effort into something that will in fact show marked improvement, or am I looking at gaining something like 5 degrees over the course of years? I'll still work hard, but I guess I'm trying to get it square in my head if I'm working towards something measurable or not. If I need to resign myself to the notion that this is about as good as it will get, then so be it. I've been taking class for a couple of years now, and taking 2-3 classes for about the last year or so.

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I don't know if this is a whine or a legitimate question. Maybe it's one that others have also had, particularly those starting out as adults. I am wondering if I'm wasting my time trying to develop turnout and flexibility when in fact very little potential for improvement exists. ...

In four weeks or so I will finish my fifth year of taking ballet classes. It's only a few weeks since the first time I was able to do the "heel in the hand" stretch and get my leg straight. As recently as last spring I though that day would never arrive, I'm just too old and stiff. I guess my point is, I am still getting better extensions after five years of trying. It's very slow and I have no hope of ever looking like the guys in the Kirov videos :) but I don't think it's over yet. There's a woman in my "ballet exercise" class who is into her seventies and has great flexibility - she's an inspiration!

 

On a related note, Laschwen said "...I won't be able to continue any pointework for a while with the reduced schedule either. It is a bit demoralizing after such a high from camp. I fear my added muscle tone will disappear too. ..." - I just wanted to say I've had the same feeling/experience last year and this year as well - even though both times I tried for a "summer intensive," i.e. more classes than usual all summer after the June camp. Classes fell back to the usual level the rest of the year. But as above, slow and steady works. I was enough better last spring in Richmond that teachers commented on it, so in spite of feeling the loss and sluggish work between camps, progress was made. Let's face it, camp is an unnatural environment and we probably could not keep up the pace anyhow - I know I'm exhausted and glad my self-imposed intensive is over! As far as I know, even the serious pre-pro teens go to summer intensives that are - well, intensive - i.e. more than their usual level of effort.

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What's a rhizotomy?

 

 

Oh, Sorry.

It is a procedure on the nerves in the area where they come out of the spine. I am keeping it simple here because I lost the handout with the technical stuff on it. They essentially "fry off" the myelin sheath of a small area of the nerve using electricity in order to stop transmission of pain signals. Deep breath here if you are thinking MD induced MS. The myelin sheath grows back after about a year. Unfortunately the referred pain also is supposed to come back after a year. I am hoping with enough strengthening of my core, it won't.

Anyway, They stick big needles in the back using X-Rays as as a guide, and then insert wires through the needles and "things" happen....buzzing and thumping. I was face down and on sedatives, and one sensation made me laugh in between when it hurt a lot. My niece drove me to the appointment. I got very hungry right after and she said that when she has had this done, she was the same way.

I am sore and on "rest" for a few days. I am allowed back to water exercise on Friday if the wounds are closed nicely, and back to Ballet on Monday.

The reason for all this is that I had a little hip injury that turned into what looked like a big hip injury, but was really my back referring pain into said hip. This went on for at least 6 months before the Doctors figured it out and by then my nerve pathways got nicely greased, so turning them off is a problem. I have long term back issues, but they have always been manageable. I feel at my best about an hour into ballet class in fact. Walking a bit funny from the original hip "cramp" did me in as it were. That is what got my back involved.

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Does this have to do with things like sciatica? I'm having similar issues with my right hip and "referred pain" down to the ankle (in the sub-talar area of the ankle). After a treatment by the physio each Friday, the pain goes away but, of course, it comes back on Saturday during ballet class and really never leaves me the entire week (ballet or not).

 

Who did you consult for this procedure - an orthopedic surgeon or another type of doctor? Are you able to go back to ballet classes fairly soon, since having this done? I'm looking for options, here, you see. I will try probably acupuncture next (still a bit wary of that, though), if the physio doesn't show improvement in a few months. It took about 8 months for physio to help me the last time I had this, but the relief was a good 10-15 years long. :-)

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\Who did you consult for this procedure - an orthopedic surgeon or another type of doctor? Are you able to go back to ballet classes fairly soon, since having this done? I'm looking for options, here, you see. I will try probably acupuncture next (still a bit wary of that, though), if the physio doesn't show improvement in a few months. It took about 8 months for physio to help me the last time I had this, but the relief was a good 10-15 years long. :-)

 

I have heard good things about acupuncture and have thought about doing it myself--except that I'm a big, nervous baby about having needles inserted in my person. :( Let me know if you decide to try it--I've only heard positive things. I hope you're doing well and get to feeling better.

 

Laschwen, I also hope you get to feeling better--that procedure sounds like no fun AT ALL. I've had steroid injections in the back of my neck--and that was one (well, several) big OW!!!

 

brandymichele

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...

I have heard good things about acupuncture and have thought about doing it myself--except that I'm a big, nervous baby about having needles inserted in my person. :thumbsup: ...

I've seen an acupuncturist every 3-4 weeks for more than a year now. And no, I don't like having things stuck in me at all - the Novocaine at the dentist is by far the most nerve-wracking part! But the needles are incredibly tiny, you feel almost nothing (and a good acupuncturist will switch to even smaller ones if you do). I've twice left with one still in me and not noticed for several hours... :( she even has some special, very short ones with tape attached, to be left in for a day or two.

 

It's funny, sometimes there's a HUGE difference, sometimes nothing, usually things feel more "settled" with more relaxed movement for several days. Sometimes it's a day or two later before I feel the effect. I think it depends on whether the real problem is treatable with this method - some are, some aren't. In any case, it works miracles for some, does nothing for others. Certainly worth a try - less expensive and less intrusive than surgery!

 

For many of my problems (check my moniker!) I find myofacial massage more effective, but my HMO covers acupuncture so I keep it in the rotation. Fortunately the acupuncturist and the massage therapist are in the same location and willing to work together on my problems.

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The Rhizotomy is a pain specialist thing.

 

so far it looks good. I went shopping yesterday...Mall shopping with my niece. This is the kind of thing that usually has me in blinding pain by the time I am done and I am either reaching for extra muscle relaxers or a lot of wine. I didn't need either yesterday and I only had one side of my back done so far. I did wear one of those high rise tummy control panties...for back support and that may have contributed a lot to my relief. We shall see on my next outing.

I out lasted my 23 year old niece......

I plan to go to class tomorrow...less than a week after.

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Dear L,

 

I'm glad to hear you did so great yesterday and outlasted the 23-year-old niece! :o

 

The myelin sheath grows back after about a year. Unfortunately the referred pain also is supposed to come back after a year. I am hoping with enough strengthening of my core, it won't.

 

To the above concern I can highly recommend two books, which will help you prevent the pain from coming back through taking care of the root problems of your back pain. The books are "Pain Free" and "The Egoscue Method of Health through Motion," both written by Pete Egoscue. His books and method, which I have been practicing for more than a year now, has taken care of my debilitating lower back pain completely and are helping me with other pain issues as well.

 

Wishing you well!

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Wishing you well!

 

 

And you too Airchild. I have been lurking on your other thread and I understand after what you went through to get those soft blocks. They will keep for later. Hang in there.

 

I do feel in my gut that the doctor who told me the pain would return is not entirely right. I think there are ways to strengthen the area to prevent that. They are likely the same as the ones we use to relieve the pain along the way, but I suppose more of them. He told me some people are more able to do activities after the procedure and some are not. I think the desire to be one of them plays a big part in it.

I know I have work to do. While I have the niece with me, I think I will have a little incentive to get going with a more intense schedule.

She is actually still recovering from Jaw surgery, but picking up more activity it seems daily. I will have to ask her to wake me up earlier to get us both the gym before my usual class time. I should be there now, but I had a lot of catch up to do after "playing" all weekend and I slept late quite unexpectedly. The laundry is in...and I am going to sew a few buttons in front of the TV soon. I already cleaned up my dance bag for later. My deshanked Sansha's could use a little work too. It will be a productive day.

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