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18.3 Dance Medicine: Strategies for the Prevention
and Care of Injuries to Dancers
Table of Contents

EPIDEMIOLOGY OF DANCE INJURIES: BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS IN THE MANAGEMENT OF DANCER HEALTH

Abstract:

CONTENT: In her monograph, Dr. Liederbach describes the socioeconomic and psychological factors that influence the culture and occupational demands of dance and their impact on dance injury. Her perspective is not just as a researcher, but also as a professional dancer and lifelong teacher of dance. The author's blending of these backgrounds is a great benefit to clinicians who wish to effectively treat dance injury. Without understanding the culture of dance, one can only scratch the surface in terms of achieving clinical effectiveness in treating injuries in dance. Not only does Dr. Liederbach evaluate ergonomic risk within the dance workplace, but she provides the reader with strategies for effective modification. She also discusses the value and limits of the screening process and its role in the broader context of prevention and intervention. Dr. Liederbach also shares her knowledge of choosing the appropriate therapeutic techniques that can effectively restore function and minimize risk for reinjury. The goal of this monograph is to shed light on how biopsychosocial factors influence best practice to prevent, diagnose, rehabilitate, and enhance the health and functional abilities of members of the dance community.

Keywords:​

injury prevention, rehabilitation, performing artist

References:

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NUTRITION, HYDRATION, METABOLISM, AND THINNESS

Abstract:

CONTENT: In her monograph, Ms. Glace specifically addresses the unique energy concerns of the dancer and the sometimes conflicting aspects of thinness whereby good performance does not always equal good health. Formulas are provided to estimate energy needs in healthy and injured dancers. Ms. Glace provides specific information on the signs, symptoms, and medical consequences of thinness, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and the female athlete triad. Treatment options are presented, and the reader is educated about factors governing thinness and determining appropriate body weight. Macronutrients and micronutrients are then discussed, along with the basis of performance-oriented meals before, during, and after exercise. The importance of hydration with a description of how to estimate hydration during training also is included. Dieting behaviors for losing and gaining weight are then critically evaluated, and the author shares her thoughts on whole foods. After reading this monograph, I think you will have an appreciation for how essential it is that clinicians be well educated in nutrition and how nutrition can play an important role in the occurrence of injury and the rehabilitation of the dancer. Ms. Glace does an excellent job enlightening readers on the vulnerability dancers face in order to achieve optimum performance. CASE ANALYSES: Two very informative case studies conclude the monograph. The first case describes a 34-year-old woman who sought nutritional guidance for what she described as a recent episode of dehydration. The second case is a 17-year-old ballet dancer who was brought in for counseling by her mother after their family practitioner expressed concern regarding her low body weight.

Keywords:​

diet, weight control, health

References:

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THE DANCER'S HIP:
ANATOMIC, BIOMECHANICAL, AND REHABILITATION CONSIDERATIONS

Abstract:

CONTENT: Ms. Grossman draws on her eclectic experiences as a teacher, researcher, and clinician to provide an excellent monograph detailing the intricacies of the evaluation and treatment of the dancer's hip. She presents a brief and relevant review of hip anatomy and biomechanics followed by kinesiological imperatives relevant to the stresses placed on the hip during dance. Ms. Grossman then refines the history-taking process to tailor this part of the evaluation to the dancer. This enables the reader to perform a thorough examination of the hip and to assess common functional deficits. Innovative and specific treatment strategies to facilitate healing are explained in an effort to guide you in treating and designing your own regimens for dancers in need of physical rehabilitation. After reading this monograph, I am sure you will gain a much better appreciation of the challenging, yet fulfilling, aspects of treating this unique patient population. CASE ANALYSES: A very comprehensive overview of common dance injuries couples with the inclusion of 2 case studies will help you apply the content. The first case is a 19-year-old dancer who is a college dance major who is involved in ballet, jazz, and tap who presents to physical therapy for a dance screening. The second case is a 20-year-old ballet dancer with a 16-year history of ballet reported to physical therapy with a complaint of bilateral adductor strain, tingling, and burning while sitting.

Keywords:​

injury, overuse, dance medicine

References:

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COMMON KNEE INJURIES IN DANCE

Abstract:

CONTENT: In her monograph, Dr. Liederbach introduces the reader to the etiology of knee injuries in dance and provides an in-depth functional analysis of stresses associated with common dance movements such as turnout, plié, and jumping. She then provides comprehensive knowledge of basic biomechanics of the knee and integrates this didactic information with a discussion of the 5 most common knee injuries in dance. Dr. Liederbach's extensive background as a professional dancer and experienced clinician allows her to offer the reader excellent insight into the unique world of dance and what evaluation skills are needed to most effectively “speak the language” when it comes to treating dance injuries. Dr. Liederbach has graciously shared her extensive knowledge in dance medicine and provides a unique perspective and a heightened sense of competence needed to serve this population. CASE ANALYSES: The final portion of the monograph offers 2 very interesting case studies that reinforce the clinical decision-making process to treat dancers effectively within the dance environment. The first case is a 20-year-old college dance major with patellofemoral pain. The second case involves a 29-year-old professional modern dancer with pretibial bursitis.

Keywords:​

injury, joint injury, dance medicine

References:

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FOOT AND ANKLE INJURIES IN THE DANCER:
EXAMINATION AND TREATMENT STRATEGIES

Abstract:

CONTENT: The authors lead the reader through an understanding and appreciation of the unique physical characteristics of the dancer's foot and ankle complex and the demands placed on them. Several commonly encountered acute and overuse foot and ankle injuries are discussed as well as factors that need to be considered in order to design and implement a well-rounded foot and ankle rehabilitation program for the dancer. Ms. Molnar also details components of a preseason screening exam for dancers. After reading this monograph and completing this series, you will be much better suited to provide appropriate and comprehensive care to the dancer. CASE ANALYSES: Two case studies allow the reader to apply the information garnered from the monograph to patient management scenarios. The first case describes a 26-year-old female ballet dancer who presents with left medial ankle pain. The second case is a 22-year-old male professional ballet dancer with a semi rigid pes cavus foot type who suffers an acute injury with throbbing pain under his foot joint that began at the end of the performance the previous evening.

Keywords:​

injury, joint injury, dance medicine

References:

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DEVELOPING EXPERT PHYSICAL THERAPY PRACTICE IN DANCE MEDICINE

Abstract:

CONTENT: The expert authors have combined their efforts to generate an informative document reviewing the content of the performing arts description of specialized practice (DSP), which serves as a professional education and development roadmap for those interested in becoming skilled dance medicine practitioners. The monograph also addresses some of the missing links in the technical and nontechnical domains of dance medicine, including issues of practice management, dance and arts organization and culture, and emergency care. In addition, the authors identify specific training opportunities for dance medicine physical therapists and describe common licensure challenges that can be encountered when traveling and treating the dance population. An important part of the monograph defines the relationship between physical therapy management of dance injuries, the structure and culture of dance organizations, and issues of workers' compensation. The authors have also included a vast number of resources for the practitioner to refer to for more information on specialized topic areas. Regardless of whether you will be working with student dancers or professional dancers, this monograph serves as an excellent summary document to fully describe the technical and nontechnical professional responsibilities required of the physical therapist interested in working in dance medicine. The content clearly defines the opportunities and challenges in the field, which will lead to more effective clinical practice for this unique population. CASE ANALYSES: Two cases are presented. The first describes a 25-year-old male modern dancer who travels with the company for a festival in Africa who performs as the lead in 4 of 7 numbers under hot humid conditions. The second case involves a male dancer who sustains a left knee injury just prior to the 6-week New York season of his dance company. The second case also presents another male dancer from the same company who sustains a back injury during the 6-week New York season. These cases show the unique aspects and administrative challenges of treating injuries in this field.

Keywords:​

emergency care, sports medicine, injury

References:

Click here.

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