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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Back Injury

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I have had a back injury for sixth months now.


I danced through pain for about one month before I started seeking treatment. The pain comes when I undulate through my spine, particularly when I'm touching my toes and I roll up through my spine, or when I twist my spine to get into a car or lean over to wash dishes. Sometimes when I'm picking things up I can feel it run down the side of my back. The pain is not sharp, it is dull and stiff.


I have tried everything. I took two or three months off: no physical activity, and saw a physical therapist who strengthened my transverse abdominals. I saw a chiropractor but that didn't help at all. I eventually switched physical therapists and the diagnosis was the same: my injury came from my hyper mobility, and that I needed to strengthen my TA. My therapist eventually said that there was nothing more to be done, I just needed to be more aware in class and make sure my lower abs are constantly engaged. I had the strength, I just wasn't thinking. I have had X-rays and an MRI that revealed nothing.


I took a long break and I am now in a musical that requires a lot of dancing, and the floors are not sprung. We are in tech week and yesterday my back really flared up again, more than it has in months. I don't know what to do at this point. My parents are frustrated by the money it's costing for constant attention and I'm frustrated that I'm not getting better.


I'm majoring in dance next year and I fear that I will not be better in time for school. I am not asking for a diagnosis but if anyone has had a similar injury and can provide some insight I would be grateful!!

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Victoria Leigh

Sorry dance, but we are not medical experts here, and we do not allow medical advice.


It sounds like you have done about everything you can do, and it's possible that the problem recurred this time because of the hard floors. Also, it sounds like you went into the musical following a long break, in which case, even though you had physical therapy, you were not in full dance shape. When the musical is over, take a rest until your back is feeling okay, and then start back in classes, but VERY slowly and VERY carefully. Don't do anything that will make it start hurting again, and gradually build back your strength.


I have to close the topic, as I cannot allow other young dancers to post on this, however, if the other teacher/moderators have things to add, they can still do that.

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