|Dancing through the pain barrier - pushing the body to its limits
Inside Out investigates how ballet dancers are sustaining injuries in their quest for fame.
We meet a Derbyshire woman who has suffered crippling injuries to her feet as a result of dancing.
Ballet is a physically gruelling activity. Dancers often push their bodies to the limits.
It is also very competitive which can add to the physical stress.
Dancers who dream of fame and fortune sometimes perform when injured fearing that someone else will take their place.
Types of ballet injury:
Acute - sudden onset e.g. sprained ankle.
Chronic - slow onset e.g. overuse.
Prevention of injury:
- Maintain good fitness levels.
- Identify individual strengths and weaknesses.
- Strengthen abdominal and lower back muscles.
- Rest is important. Many injuries are sustained in periods of fatigue and a lack of concentration due to tiredness or stress.
- A balanced, nutritious diet helps.
- Avoid ballistic (bouncing) stretches, as they can cause muscle or tendon injuries.
- Always warm up/ cool down.
Source: Northern Ballet
The level of precision required is comparable to that of an Olympic gymnast.
The main causes of ballet injuries are
overwork, repetition, fatigue, inadequate technique, dancing in an inappropriate environment, and poor diet.
Some dancers have eating disorders as a result of trying to keep down their weight.
Inside Out investigates the permanent damage that can be caused by ballet dancing.
When injured, it is important for dancers to seek professional, medical advice.
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