Many people find dancing to be a great way to get exercise and have fun at the same time. Like any physical activity, dancing has its share of injuries. If you find yourself with a leg injury, you could be sidelined for weeks or months while you recuperate. Let’s take a look at some of the most common leg injuries dancers suffer, and how you can help prevent them.
A torn meniscus is a type of knee injury not uncommon among dancers. This injury is created by activities that cause your knee to forcefully rotate or twist, particularly when you put your full weight on it.
Both knees have two C-shaped menisci – cartilage that cushions your shinbone and thighbone. A sign you may have a torn miniscus is if you experience pain, stiffness, and swelling in your knee. You may also have difficulty fully extending your knee. Sometimes, ice, rest, and medication is enough to provide some pain relief and allow it to heal by itself. Other times, surgery is required.
Some dancers find themselves with achilles tendinitis. The Achilles tendon is a narrow band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your calf muscles. This injury is most commonly seen in athletes, but also occurs in dancers quite often since they spend so much time on their toes.
Most cases are treated simply at home under a doctor’s advice. Sometimes, serious cases result in tendon tears that require surgery. The best way to heal is to stay off it though, so make sure you are doing everything you can to protect this while you dance.
Preventing leg injuries is far preferable than being sidelined for weeks or months. One way to prevent many leg injuries is to maintain a healthy weight for your age. As we get older, our legs, tendons, and bones are less able to bear weight and pressure. Taking some weight off eases the burden on your legs and reduces your chances of leg injury.
Another way to prevent injuries is to always warm up and stretch before you go dancing. As Cantini Law Group Accident and Disability Lawyers remind us, this same method is used by athletes to prevent injury. Stretching and warming up gets blood flowing into your leg muscles and prepares your body for movement.
Some injuries can be expected in any physical activity, but following these simple guidelines should reduce your odds of suffering a leg injury. Just a little thought and care can go a long way towards ensuring you are able to stay on your feet and dance the night away!