Chesapeake Physical and Aquatic Therapy
  Columbia- Supreme Sports Club: 410-381-7000
  River Hill/ Clarksville: 410-531-2525
  Elkridge Physical Therapy: 410-579-8999
  Columbia- Athletic Club: 410-740-0883
  Catonsville Physical Therapy: 410-719-8661
Owings Mills Physical Therapy: 410-654-2300
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  What is Dance PT?

Physical rehabilitation focused on the prevention, assessment, and treatment/management of dance related injuries. A provider specializing in dance PT should have a knowledge base in the art and technique of dance or experience in the performing environment. Knowledge of steps, terminology, and consideration of shoes or performing equipment is essential in treating the dancer as a whole.

Common injuries to dancers

Of all dance injuries, majority are involving the lower extremities, primarily foot and ankle conditions. These can include but are not limited to the following:

Ankle sprains/Chronic Ankle Instability
Stress Fractures
Tendonitis of ankle (FHL, Posterior Tibialis, etc.)
Ligamentous strains in the knee
Patellar dislocation
Patellar tendonitis
Meniscal injuries
Hip labral tears
Muscle Strains
General overuse injuries

  Dance injuries are not limited to the lower extremities, with conditions involving the spine and shoulder affecting dancers in all forms of dance, not just ballerinas. These injuries can include the following:
Spondylolisthesis Disc problems with radicular symptoms
Thoracic Spine pain Rotator cuff tendonitis and/or tear
  How is Dance PT Different from regular PT?
  The dancer is an athlete with a very specific set of demands on the body. Characterized by hypermobility, extreme flexibility, and a strong core, the dancer requires treatment focused on these specific physical demands and weaknesses preventing the body from performing to its maximum capabilities. Physical environment, rehearsal/performance schedule, costumes, shoes, and fatigue are all factors considered by the Physical Therapist when treating the injured dancer. Rehabilitation focuses on specific dance steps and muscular imbalances, both those causing the injury and those which can prevent future injury. It can be based on activity modification rather than restriction, depending on the injury. Treatment can include but is not limited to Pilates, core strengthening, plyometrics, floor barre, mobile disc work, Theraband exercises, manual therapy, and much more.

Written by: Ashley Simmons, DPT

1. Hansen, Pamela A., and Kristi Reed. "Common musculoskeletal problems in the performing artist."
Physical medicine and rehabilitation clinics of North America 17.4 (2006): 789801.
2. Sabo, Megin. "Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Strategies for Dancer: A Qualitative Study." Journal of
Dance Medicine & Science 17.1 (2013): 1117.
2. Toledo, Santiago D., et al. "Sports and performing arts medicine. 6. Issues relating to dancers." Archives
of physical medicine and rehabilitation 85 (2004): 7578.
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