Greater Manchester


Physiotherapy for Dancers

Dancing has always been a popular hobby and profession, due to the wide variety and styles to suit a wide variety of people. The diverse movements employed in each specific style of dancing, does however mean that there are a multitude of injuries that can be sustained. Dancing is a great form of exercise and socialising, and here at Metro we understand that when you experience any setback with injury, getting back to dancing again is a major priority. We therefore provide the highest level of service by combining our in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology and specific performance rehabilitation to ensure you return to full fitness as soon as possible. Our therapists have helped countless performers across the North-West to return to dancing and performing at both amateur and professional level.

Common Dancing injuries

Dancing can be a very intense and repetitive activity, which can range from causing minor aches and pains, to debilitating conditions and injuries.

Lower limb injuries are very common in dancers and more often than not, can be managed with high quality physiotherapy. As routines and techniques need to be repeatedly practised, overuse injuries are prevalent. Damage to the cartilage, impingement syndrome and tendonitis in the hip joint can all be resultant consequences of repetitive and intense weight bearing movements. Damage to the ligaments and tendons in the knee and ankle can also occur when forceful torsional stress is placed on them, as well as common conditions such as Achilles and patella tendonitis.

Upper limb conditions such as shoulder impingement syndrome and acromio-clavicular joint injuries can occur due to extensive use of the arms overhead, lifting and falling during certain styles of dancing. Similarly, with most intense physical activity, back pain can be a troublesome issue related to weaknesses and over-use of certain structures. In all of these cases, it is important that the adequate treatment and training modalities are employed to combat the painful symptoms these conditions can inflict on an individual.

Reducing the risk of Dancing related injuries

In order to reduce the risk of a dancing related injury, it is vital that your training programme consists of mobility, stretching, strengthening, sport specific movement patterns and proprioception.

Tight muscles can cause imbalances and restrictions that can increase the risk of injury, so it is important that joints are kept mobile and elastic structures are appropriately stretched. Strengthening muscles not only improves the muscle’s capabilities, but adds support to the structures they surround to decrease the risk of failure. It is key to include the correct mixture of stretching and strengthening to ensure there is a balance between stability and mobility.

Proprioception is the brain’s awareness of joint and limb position. It is important that this is continually trained, especially to reduce the risk of ankle sprains. It is also fundamental, that after a traumatic injury, proprioception is trained to reprogram the neural pathways that may have been altered by any change in the joint position. At Metro Physio, your therapist will have a plethora of specific exercises to prescribe, ensuring a smooth transition back to dancing.

Treatments following a Dancing related injury

Varying treatment techniques are employed to aid in the rehabilitation of a dancing injury. Your therapist will assess and observe your biomechanics to identify any underlying dysfunction that could have caused the injury or lead to a repeat injury. Following this, a plan will be formulated to overcome any issues that are detected.

Treatment sessions will be tailored towards the individual and the injury, but will typically consist of some of the following techniques; deep tissue massage, deep frictional massage, trigger point release, joint mobilisations, fascial release, Ultrasound Therapy, acupuncture, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation, taping/strapping and a specific tailored exercise programme.