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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Back massage?


Ice-Dancer

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Hi! Please forgive me if this is in the wrong place, I am new here.

I am a ballerina (recreationally, I would say for now) and competitive ice dancer. One thing I have been working hard on since returning to ballet is regaining some of the back flexibility and strength I've lost over the course of a five year hiatus from ballet. However, I am realizing this is a little more difficult at age 18 than it was in my teeny bopper years, and I am finding it to be a more slow and painful (only "good pain", never bad, except for a few knots). Was curious if anyone had any input on back massages when focusing on hyper-extension of the back and if I will find them beneficial at all when it comes to working on my back.

Thanks!

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  • Administrators

Ice-Dancer, I moved your post from the YD forum to the Adult Students forum so that more people may answer your questions. I think you will find more help here, as the 17-22 forum is less active and also more limited in terms of who can respond. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

any thoughts on back pain and back flexibility training for 12-year-olds?

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  • Administrators

Pain needs to be examined by a physician. Flexibility training is part of ballet, but can possibly be aided by Pilates or something similar, like Gyrotonics.

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I don't have experience with massage for hyperextension of any body part (very not hyperextended), but I do get weekly body massages. I truly feel that it helps with my aches, pains, and even flexibility. Of course, the style of massages offered in South East Asia seem to be more manual and aggressive than those that I had in the West. I've also trained my massage therapist to go a bit beyond the limits of the normal customer when it comes to extending the legs etc. I had to explain to them that if they are lifting my legs to the front or in arabesque to the back, I literally feel no stretch if they don't push farther or higher.

 

Massage has aided me so much with my tight IT Band, and once in a rare while when i have psiatic nerve pain in the glutes, massage has been wonderful. In any event, my flexibility does seem to be helped by massage, but I wouldn't attribute it to that entirely. I would say that because I am having soreness and knots worked on weekly, that flexibility is just more comfortable.

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I have a flexible back, and has been staining my upper back repeatedly over the years. Until recently, I had been dealing with my back pain with breaking up scar tissue and try to get the muscles relaxed, but the problem was never completely gone.

Recently, I visited a sports medicine doctor for my back pain, he referred me to an osteopathic doctor for OMT sessions together with PT and message. The DO told me that I have vertebrae being pushed to the side and rotating and causing the back muscles to cramp, so the priority for me is to get the vertebrae back to where it should be and train the muscles to accommodate to the new vertebrae alignment. I definitely felt the most difference after OMT than PT or massage. I know a lot of people swear by massage, but I think you have to make sure there's nothing wrong going on in your spine first for it to have long lasting effect...

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  • 2 weeks later...

While on the subject...About a week ago I pulled a muscle in my lower back during class. I've been seeing the studio's inhouse licensed massage therapist since and I've had massage therapy 15-30 mins a week. The massages seem to really help I just fear that I may need a little bit more treatment on the area. It doesn't hurt when I bend over for a forward port de bras or stretch...it only hurts when I try to bend back or do a back bend or when I try to combre back. I'm trying to figure out what other ways I can treat this in addition to the massages.

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Have you seen a doctor?

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