Treating dance injuries with physiotherapy

Jenny Birckel has worked with dancers since 1990. Many of the adolescent dancers that she treated and assisted with strengthening programmes have gone on to dance in companies such as The Australian Ballet, Queensland Ballet, Florida ballet, Dance North, and musical theatre productions.

Jenny  spent many years treating QDSE students (Queensland Dance School of Excellence) and performing their dance assessments. The Albion practice has been located in the ADPI (Australian Dance Performance Institute) for 8 years, so dance assessments and management of dance injuries is a daily event. Our staff have a background in dance with most of them being dancers at least at school level before studying physiotherapy.
Jenny’s speciality and that of our staff  is adolescent and childhood dance injuries. This is a critical period of any dancer’s career. Correct assessment and treatment of any injuries that arise allows us to give the young dancers guidance and specific advice regarding strengthening, stretching and technique faults.

Dance injury Treatment

Dancers perform many physically gruelling techniques working the body to the end of its range of flexibility and strength. A dancer requires endurance in the body control muscle patterns that encompass dance.  Injury can occur due to specific weaknesses, lack of endurance for the demands being attempted, insufficient warm-ups, cold studios, poor surfaces, lack of rest and recovery techniques.
We offer a thorough assessment process identifying the cause of the injury which is very often of an overuse nature. Just treating the symptoms will not offer long term management. We need to identify any specific weakness, technique or training issues that have lead to the injury so it doesn’t recur. 
Hands on treatment, strengthening programmes, and client specific Pilates programmes will accelerate your rehabilitation and keep the rest of your body dance fit while you are recovering from an injury.

Dance Injury Rehabilitation and Injury prevention

Most dancers fear that a trip to the physio will mean stopping dancing for a while. While it may be necessary to enforce “relative rest” on a seriously injured part of the body (eg. a stress fracture) it doesn’t mean that all exercise has to cease.  It is important to keep the rest of the body strong and dance conditioned while injury of one part is healing. We can prescribe a dance conditioning/ rehabilitation programme that will assist with graded strengthening of the injured part and maintain and even enhance strengthening of other unaffected parts of the body. We have fully equipped Pilates equipment studios to implement supervised client specific programmes or if distance is a barrier we can design a home programme.

Networking with dance specific doctors

If your injury requires further investigation or specific tests we can refer you to Sports physicians that have a special interest in dance injuries.

Dance Assessments and Injury Prevention

We offer Dance assessments which consist of detailed musculoskeletal assessments of the dancer.
A Dance Assessment is an in depth musculoskeletal examination to determine a dancer’s flexibility, strengths and weaknesses. This is great way to discover how you can get more from your body at any stage of your dance career. If you are serious about a dance career, knowing where to work to improve your flexibility and strength is important.
The Pre-Pointe Assessment is an ideal tool to determine whether a young dancer is ready to undertake this important step in a ballet dancer’s career. We examine a lot more than just the feet. We look at the young dancer’s development, posture and take into account strength throughout the lower limb, around the pelvis / abdomen and in the low back. Dancers that are not quite ready for the rigors of pointè will be given a home exercise programme to address weaknesses found and reassessed a month to 6 weeks later to ensure they have reached their target strength for pointè
Call us today on 3862 2322 (Albion) or 3399 2244 (Bulimba) to book an appointment. 


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