Health issues in dancing

First the DISCLAIMER: don't take the following for gospel. If you have medical questions, go talk to a physician. None of the people quoted here is a physician.

> Athletic creams

> Blisters

> Colds

> Injuries

> Losing weight

> Morton's Neuroma

v Joints, in particular knees and ankles

I am sure this has been asked before, but my knees constantly hurt.

Exercises and ibuprofen. The second until the first starts having effect. I hate throwing chemicals into myself, but sometimes I can't dance without it. [Victor Eijkhout]

I used ibuprofen heavily when dancing for a w hile - until I found myself in intense pain and unable to move several hours post-dance, due to severe GI tract distress. I'm a lot more circumspect with the stuff these days, and never, ever take it on an empty stomach. [Jon Leech]

Yeah, it's not candy. :-) I think you'll find that ibuprofen is the analgesic of choice for muscle and joint pain these days.

I have limited but positive experience with Chondroitin. It's important to note that Chondroitin is not intended or expected to provide immediate relief but rather to promote more healthy joint function over a period of time. Directions for use indicate an initial dosage for 60 days with a maintenance dosage thereafter.

That said, my knees tolerated two heavy dancing nights in a row on unsprung floors better than they often do on sprung floors after only a week of doses.

I'd say it's worth a try.[Mike Corbett]

I have not-so-good knees myself (cute kneess , but painful sometimes). I take a condroitan/glucosamine supplement. Took about 2 months to feel some kind of difference, but more importantly, I can feel a difference when I DON'T take it. I've also heard something called MSM (have no idea what that stands for, something to do with sulfur) works as well. I also adhere to a full-body stretching program each and every day, including exercises to build & strengthen the muscles surrounding & supporting the knees. Although I haven't used this for my knees, I use a topical analgesic (Aspercreme) for neck pain and stiffness, so that may work for you as well. What about knee wraps and/or supports? Maybe applying heat before and ice after exercise? I'm not a sports therapist, just trying to think what I would do in your position. [Trish Connery]

First thing you need to do is go to an general practitioner and hopefully an orthopedic surgeon to determine the reason for your pain. You could have pain because of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, previous trauma to the knee or any of a plethora of reasons.

After the diagnosis is made the appropriate treatment for your knee pain can be determined after evaluating risks and benefits.

Although many inflammatories such as iuboprofen are non prescription, their chronic use is associated with certain side effects, one of which is kidney failure, which is fatal.

No beneficial effects to the knees have been demonstrated by dietary supplements, although they may reduce pain in some situations, we don't know why, since we don't know all the chemicals or the concentrations in supplements.

Chiropractic treatment may offer some symptomatic relief, but chiropractic scientific concepts and treatments are not accepted by traditional medical science, and few would argue they really are a substitute for surgery etc. [Darrell Criswell]

A lot of problems are caused by unnatural movements. Most of them you can fix by changing the movement that causes the pain. First thing I suggest you do is to call up a well respected dance school that caters to the more serious and rigorous dance students in the area (ballet). Ask them to make a recommendation as to a doctor who is knowledgable in dance related injuries. Any dancer worth his or her salt will jump at the opportunity to help you out. Dance relatated injuries are quite common in ballet and modern dance and dancers will more than go out of their way to help a fellow dancer with an injury.

Actually, as well as asking for a doctor, tell them what your problem is as well. The instructor might even be able to make some recommendations right off the bat. Almost all instructors know of a dance doctor they can go to as well. Its also better to tell the instructor what the problem is instead of guessing a solution and then asking for a recommendation on the solution instead. Kinda twisted logic imho.

Secondly, start educating yourself in human kinesiology. There's an excellent book I'm reading right now called _Dance Kinesiology_ by Sally Fitt. The book is wonderful and caters to a dancer's needs rather than the traditional athletes view of kinesology. The only flaw is that the book doesn't cover the head so I suggest you find a source for that information elsewhere. The book is more than worth the money. The reason I'm telling you to do this is so that you can build a knowledge of your own body to recognize what you're doing that causing the injury as well as spot future problems.

A couple things I can tell you right away is that the knee bends only one way and along one axis of rotation. If you're doing actions that bend it any other way, you're probably stretching the ligaments (Which is extremely BAD!! Stretch muscles, not ligaments.) A good example is my chacha chasse to the side. I had a habit of turning my toes in on my second and third steps. I noticed it was straining my knee and I spend about four or five hours retraining my leg muscles to keep my feet turned out. Yeah, turn out is important I think. [Christopher S. Turan]

> Perspiration

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Contents of the r.a.d. FAQ

This file is part of the FAQ list for the newsgroup The FAQ list is being maintained by Victor Eijkhout (victor at eijkhout dot net, talk about vanity), who appreciates being sent additions or corrections on the material in this collection. Copyright 1994-2001 lies with the maintainer and the contributors of various parts.

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Last modified on: 2001, Friday January 5.