Knee pain.. how to avoid it

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by debmc, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. dancelvr

    dancelvr Well-Known Member

    Knee pain......Ah...I'm a veteran of that....both arthritic in nature, and tendon strain. It curtailed my dancing off and on for a year, and forced me to switch from standard to latin, just so I could stay on the dance floor.

    The short version of all this is that western medicine not only did NOTHING for me, but it actually made things worse with a misdiagnosis and cortisone injction which led to even more damage to my patella tendon.

    The keys are warm and stretched muscles (in that order)....sufficient support of the knee joint (either internally or externally) and a correct diganosis of the actual problem, so you know where to direct any necessary therapies.

    I have discovered a wonderful brace which, for me, has stabalized my patellar tendon, and prevented me from re-straining it when I'm dancing. I only wear it when dancing, and do other things during my week to keep my quads, knees, calves, hamstrings and glutes exercised and strong. It has given me back my dearest love....standard.

    As for the use of ice......unless there is significant swelling in the area of your discomfort, such as arthritic fluid buildup, or an accute injury, ice is not recommended. Applying ice only shuts down circulation to the area. Fine if you have swelling to reduce, but otherwise....not so much. After a particularly strenuous lesson, I alternate heat and ice on my knees with a 3 to 1 ratio.....example: 3 minutes of heat to 1 minute of ice. This actually encourages blood flow to the area, and is great for tendon and ligament health.
  2. madmaximus

    madmaximus Well-Known Member

    Three common and often-overlooked causes of knee pain in dance:

    • Not knowing how to walk properly
    • Lack of warm-up/cool-down
    • Forgetting (or not knowing when to) release the heel of the supporting foot when transitioning weight to the travelling foot.
    The first, which pertains more to Modern than Latin, deals with very specific technique (which I remember posting in detail many moons ago, here on DF).

    The third is commonly notable in Nat/Rev turns (eg lady's 1 to 2), voltas (from cross to side step), and side step transitions with rise (notably bolero, but sometimes in Rumba).

  3. rbazsz

    rbazsz New Member

    I get injected with a similar version of these drugs which are generically called hyaluronic acid. It consists of 5 injections over 5 weeks. It's quite amazing how much these injections reduce arthritic pain.

    Now for the downside: These injections are very expensive. You will pay between $300 to $550 per injection. Because they are so pricey many insurance companies will not pay for them.

    The other downside is that the treatments usually only last about 6 months, although some people go for longer periods.
  4. kckc

    kckc Active Member

    Actually, my insurance does pay for them, but you have to wait 6 months between each series of shots if they don't last as long as mine have.
  5. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    You could always find a vet and see if they'll sell you Adequan or Legend off-label...same stuff, cheaper by the human-size does (same debate between people who swear by it and people who say it's a placebo.)

    *Note: I'M KIDDING. I DO NOT SERIOUSLY SUGGEST YOU TRY TO GET VETERINARY HYALURONIC ACID. (I'm not saying I haven't heard of people doing it.)
  6. babyanika7777

    babyanika7777 New Member

    The knee support is that the biggest joint within the flesh. It works sort of a hinge however it it handles difficult tasks. The knees square measure subjected to the maximum amount as 3 times your weight after you walk and a number of other times a lot of once rising the steps. thus imagine however troublesome one will perform after you have knee pain. physiotherapy can facilitate decrease knee pain, recover its perform, and regain its strength. Most of those are going to be achieved through a series of exercises together with alternative physiotherapy treatment modalities.
  7. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    Dancers don't pay enough attention to the type of floor they dance on. Bottom line: make sure that most of your dancing is on a floating wood floor. The floor must have flex and must allow for proper sliding.

    As tempting as it may be to dance at clubs, be sure not to spend much time dancing on floors that are made of cement, tile, or any other type of surface that will cause above average impacts. Many clubs use fake wood that is glued to cement, which is just as bad as bare concrete. The impact your knees get from long exposure to these types of surfaces will add up, and your knees can suffer short term pain and even permanent damage!

    Ask the owner of the studios or the clubs if their floor is floating. If they don't know what that means then you can bet they aren't.
    fascination and raindance like this.
  8. Dr Dance

    Dr Dance Well-Known Member

    One GREAT exercise is to forward lunge (on each knee separately), and hold it for as long as you can. (Stretch your knees first before you try this.)
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right...but only if the knee does not pass the toe, or at least the body weight must be well behind it...otherwise, you will destroy your that one is risky for people who don't get their alignment right
  10. dncergrl

    dncergrl Active Member

    One thing I can add, is that my knee pain is reduced since wearing podiatrist- constructed orthotics about 80% of the time. They are the ones that are made from having a foot cast. I have a friend who has thin, flexible orthotics suitable for dance shoes, but I have not been able to source them. I also use the stationary bike and do eccentric drops with increasing weights.
  11. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    It is really important to work on developing your basics to the extent that you can dance them in balance. In my personal experience I found that many injuries went away as I improved my technique, and posture too. It is easy to get into a pattern in your dancing where you are falling and catching yourself a lot, or turning when you are not over the foot, and these things can add up to a repetitive type injury over time.
    fascination and ACtenDance like this.
  12. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    I'll second what Generalist said about floors, and add this: The floor needs to be free of tripping and slipping hazards. The one time that I had a knee injury that kept me off of the dance floor for any length of time, it was because I slipped on a spot where someone had spilled something and didn't clean it up.
  13. Generalist

    Generalist Active Member

    Sometimes floors have wood planks that are uneven in height. The edge of my shoes have grabbed between the wood and have caused big stress to all my joints. Unfortunately this is a problem that can't usually be seen until the shoe grabs. I avoid these floors or learn where on the floor the wood is more even.
  14. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    Hotel-ballroom portable floors are notorious for that. Either the panels aren't the same height, or gaps open up. The latter is especially hazardous to follows in heels. Also, you never know what kind of finish one of these floors is going to have, and it's not uncommon to see a floor made from panels of different kinds where the finish isn't consistent from one panel to the next.

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