Physical Therapy for Dancers

Dancing may seem like a graceful, effortless sport, but it’s really one of the most physically grueling activities out there. Dancing not only requires an artistic component but the ability to perform and maintain certain athletic skills. As with any sport, injuries may occur and require specialized attention in order to make a full recovery. Finding a provider specializing in physical therapy for dancers may be a challenge, but Dr. Schoene is ready to help in the Chicago area.

How Can Physical Therapy Help Dancers?

The focus of dance physical therapy is to regain a dancer’s full function after an injury and teach them how to avoid future injuries. Dance medicine specialist Dr. Schoene provides her patients with the valuable advice and expertise to make this happen. As a committed physical therapist, she will perform a thorough evaluation of the dancer’s shoes, physical abilities, and movements to minimize future risk of injury.

Physical therapy can help dancers by helping them to build and regain strength without building mass. By providing them with a properly planned recovery for their injuries, dancers will be able to resume their normal classes and routines much more quickly than waiting for an injury to heal on its own.

Any impediment to a dancer’s range of motion can affect dancing technique, lead to future injury, and affect overall performance. During your physical therapy rehabilitation, Dr. Schoene aims to improve your overall range of motion while also strengthening and restoring your full motion and function. She understands the importance of having the ability to physically exert yourself and have a full range of body movement and flexibility. This unique form of rehabilitation offers an in-depth analysis and program to get you back to the level of performance you need.

Our evaluations check for foot mechanic alignment along with screenings for issues such as bunions and scoliosis to help prescribe the proper dance-based physical therapy exercises.

Common Dance-Related Injuries

Some of the injuries we commonly see in dancers include:

  • Foot and ankle injuries including trigger toe, ankle impingement, and Achilles tendonitis.
  • Hip injuries including hip impingement, labral tears, snapping hip syndrome, hip flexor tendonitis, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, and hip bursitis.
  • Stress fractures of the tibia, sesamoids, lumbar spine, and metatarsals.
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome.
  • Arthritis in the knee, ankle, hip, and foot.

These injuries occur due to several reasons. These include:

  • Old injuries that did not properly or completely heal.
  • Age. Younger dancers are more prone to some injuries than more experienced dancers.
  • Frequency of class and rehearsal schedules.
  • Inadequate flexibility, strength, or range of motion.
  • Improper technique.
  • Lack of proper diet. 
  • Issues with improper shoe fit, flooring, or equipment.

Typically, after a mild injury you may experience muscle soreness that subsides within 24 to 48 hours. If you experience the following, it may be a sign of a more serious injury that requires physical therapy:

  • Pain that is waking you up at night.
  • Pain that is present when you start an activity or that worsens with activity.
  • Pain that causes you to compensate for your movements or shift weight.

If you experience any of the above types of pain, consult with Dr. Schoene. Years of experience in dance-related injuries allow her to treat your injuries with the care and attention you need for a proper recovery.

Can Dance Injuries Be Prevented?

The majority of injuries caused by overuse and even some traumatic injuries that dancers suffer can be prevented. Follow these tips to help reduce your risk of injury that requires physical therapy.

  • Get a sufficient amount of rest. Give your body time to recover and avoid overtraining. 
  • Eat a well-balanced diet and stay hydrated. This includes before, during, and after any training, performances, or classes. 
  • Always wear proper fitting attire and shoes. 
  • Be sure to warm up before any performances or training exercises. 
  • Practice cross-training exercises to build endurance and strength throughout your entire body. 
  • Be in tune with your body. 

If you experience an injury, you should seek medical care as soon as possible to prevent any worsening of symptoms.

About Dr. Schoene

Dr. Lisa Schoene has been practicing in Chicago and Lake County for over 30 years. She’s a triple board-certified podiatrist dedicated to helping dancers overcome their injuries so they can get back to doing what they love. With over 25 years dedicated to working with athletes, she’s now dedicated her career to working closely with dancers to help them make a full recovery so that they can resume dancing as quickly as possible.

Dr. Schoene has worked closely with many American athletes ranging from dance troupes in the Chicago area including Ballet Chicago, the Evanston Dance Ensemble, and Inaside Chicago Dance. She has also worked with athletes involved in the 1996 Olympic Games and the 1994 World Cup series. She is the go-to in the Chicago area.

COVID-19 Update

Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine Associates is currently complying with federal, state health department, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for infection control guidelines to help minimize and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Schoene and her staff are symptom-free and will be following proper precautions to help reduce the spread. Before receiving care, each patient will be asked appropriate screening questions and have their temperature taken before each appointment. If you have any questions regarding our current policies or procedures related to COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact our office. We can be reached by telephone at 847-263-6073.

Contact Us Today

If you’re a dancer and have suffered an injury, reach out to Dr. Schoene at Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine Associates to get your specialized physical therapy regimen. You can reach us by phone at 847-263-6073 during regular office hours or by submitting an online form 24/7. A member of our staff will reach out to you promptly to schedule your consultation. We’re located at 401 W. Ontario St. Suite 240 in Chicago, IL. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Reach out to get the treatment that you need so you can resume dancing as soon as possible.

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