Injuries aren’t always avoidable, yet despite their prevalence it can still be a scary, confusing, and confronting time for a lot of dancers, singers and performers. Especially if it’s an injury requiring a duration of time away from work or the thing you love.
The best advice I’ve heard, and something I repeat to my patients often, is to remember that only about 2% of your body is injured and the other 98% is great, healthy, and ready to work. Whilst easier said than done, it is important to keep it in perspective and use your time to your advantage.
When we feel stressed, our brains signal for more cortisol and other chemicals to be released, which can impede and slow down the healing cascade. If you are feeling distressed about your injury, your Physiotherapist, Myotherapist or Remedial Massage Therapist can assist you to find coping strategies, or refer you to someone when required. The other thing we know about the body, is exercise improves our mental wellbeing… lucky that other 98% of your body is good to go!
When you draw your focus away from your injury and limitations and towards all you are still able to do, you help your body’s natural healing process and open up the opportunity to “prehab” to prevent further injuries.
When recovering from an injury, your personal plan and timeframe will vary based on the type of injury and the load you are returning to. Your healthcare practitioner will help to guide this. Often rehabilitation with include a period of relative rest from the aggravating activity, correcting movement patterns, strengthening and a graded return to your full load. This process will be unique to you and your injury and is so important to adhere to to get the best outcomes.
During these periods of relative rest, you have an amazing opportunity to address any other niggling areas that may have been quietly vying for you attention. Your therapist can support you with ideas for those areas, or perhaps a previous rehab program tapered off and could be brought back, dusted off, and recommenced!
While there is no denying injuries can sometimes be a real bummer, you’ve also just been gifted more time and attention for your body.
Let’s get strong!
Dance Physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, Maddie Hicks