We've all heard the term "a 4-6 week recovery". That heart retching sentence that eats you up inside. Whether it's a strain, pull, sprain, tear or even a fraction, asking a ballerina to rest is like disabling one's way to express oneself. So what are the most common ballet injuries?
An Injury Breakdown for a ballerina is 65% -80% leg injuries, 10% -17% spine injuries and 5% -15% arm injuries. What cause these you might ask?
Factors and origin of these injuries include fatigue, poor alignment, environmental hazards, inexperience, over training, incorrect use of muscles, incorrect use of turn out and muscle imbalance etc. Unfortunately injuries are part of a ballerina's life. So how do we ensure a fast recovery?
4-6 weeks is how long it takes damaged tissue to be replaced. Physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, cross training, laser therapy help aid in a fast recovery. But surprisingly proper nutrition and hydration play a huge rule in it too. How?
A daily diet during recovery should consist of complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, foods high in vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants rich foods and plenty of water.
Complex carbohydrates are broken down and stored as glycogen which is what gives your muscles fullness. Consumption of carbohydrates is the catalyst for protein sparing. In which your protein is used for muscle building instead of being used as energy. Proteins role is to rebuild damaged muscles and replenishes lost nutrients to you injured body. Doctors recommend adding 15% -18% more protein into your diet while injured. Healthy fats help with cellular healing, anti-infection and improve circulation throughout the body. Water moves toxins away from the site of injury.
How to reduce risk of injury?
Always prepare well your body before classes, rehearsals and work out in general. Warm up thoroughly, stretch and focus.It is recommended to wear warm and comfortable clothes.
Have a spatial awareness of your environment and others in it. Have self awareness of your body and its limits. Do not forget to drink plenty of water before, during and especially after dancing or exercising. Have properly fitted shoes, you can prevent injuries just by making sure you have proper absorption of impact, support for your body and correct weight distribution. Create the habit to cool down properly after classes, rehearsals, exercise or performances.
Do not forget,
Having a balanced healthy diet is key.
So eat well, heal well, stay well.