Dance medicine includes diagnostic procedures, treatments, therapies, and even surgeries focused specifically on dance-related injuries, and injuries not directly related to dance, but which can have an impact on a dancer's ability to perform. Like sports medicine, which focuses on helping injured athletes return to their sports with greater strength and endurance, dance medicine aims to do the same for dancers of all levels, from students to professionals. Treatments address not only the anatomy of the foot and ankle, but also the biomechanical and neuromotor issues affecting the feet and ankles that can have an impact on dance performance. Dance medicine also provides guidance, and education and therapies to help prevent injuries, so dancers stay as healthy as possible.
Because of the extreme stresses their feet and ankles are exposed to every day, dancers experience an array of injuries, including:
Corns and calluses
Joint stiffness and rigidity
Bone spurs and “dancer's heel”
Pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot
Achilles tendon problems
Trigger toe, or FHL tenosynovitis
Anterior impingement syndrome affecting the top portion of the ankle
Fractures and stress fractures
That depends on the type of injury and the overall health of the foot and ankle. Some injuries can be treated with conservative approaches including: use of medications to reduce pain and inflammation; physical therapy and stretching exercises; injections of medications to reduce inflammation; and even surgical intervention when needed. Patients also receive a comprehensive care plan to enable them to fully heal and prevent future injuries from occurring.
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