Your Healthy Family: The many injuries dancers face - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: The many injuries dancers face

Dance in it's many forms is physically demanding Dance in it's many forms is physically demanding

As graceful and fluid as many forms of dance can appear they are physically demanding.  As dance continues to grow in popularity more people are learning of the many injuries that are common to dancing.

Dr. Michael Huang with Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group, located on the UCHealth Memorial North Campus is a sports medicine specialist and orthopedic surgeon who knows all too well the toll dance can take on the human body.

“We see a lot of dance injuries.  They are usually in the lower extremities.  I think dancing is as hard as football and in some regards more strenuous.  The reason is because they (dancers) really put their joints in positions that big husky football players don't get into.  Certainly in dance there is not the jarring collisions, but there's all the pivoting and leaping and landing, along with the joint positioning can really put dancers at risk of injury.”

Toni Freehling, began dancing very early in her life.  It’s become a passion not only to do, but to teach to others.  Toni is the owner of Revolution Dance Studio in Colorado Springs.  

Toni says, “I like to call dance, sport of the the arts.  You're using your body in extraordinary ways and if you don't take care of it properly, warming up the right way, stretching out, that can lead to injuries.”  

Dr. Huang says not matter the sport or physical activity, staying out of his office begins with thoughtful prevention.  “In terms of injury prevention, I see athletes of all sports and I really try to get them all to understand the importance of stretching and of pre-season training, or cross training throughout the year.  I think that can really can help injury prevention and core strengthening I think every athlete can benefit from that.”

In her 20 years of teaching dance in Colorado Springs, Toni has always stressed the importance of injury prevention to her students.  “It's going to happen to you, and so you you do your best to prevent it by dancing smart.  You warm up, you do cross training so you're not continuously over using the same muscles, and you get yourself active in other ways.”

Despite her best efforts one day, serious injury became her partner in life.  Toni clearly recalls,

“I was teaching a private lesson, I was dancing with my students and I was completely warmed up.  Strangely enough my hamstring ruptured off my bone when I went down into the splits.  My initial thought was ‘I pulled it’.  I got up and walked over to get some ice right away, and then I felt my hamstring recoiled down my leg.  That's when I thought, ‘you know maybe this is a little more than just a strain’."

Toni faced a long road to a full recovery, but it was a road she was determined to travel with the help of Dr. Huang.  http://www.koaa.com/story/36420061/your-healthy-family-local-dancer-travels-long-road-back-from-hamstring-tear

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