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4 Foot Strengthening Exercises for Gymnasts

Posted on by Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP

Foot injuries can occur when playing sports but a shoe or cleat can often protect the foot from injury. Some sports, like gymnastics, are performed barefoot. Gymnasts have extra demands placed on the small muscles of the foot as they are not getting the support of a shoe. When training barefoot, there is an increased demand of the muscles in the foot and lower leg. These muscles will help to stabilize the foot and ankle which may reduce the risk of ankle sprains or injuries higher up the leg such as in the knee or hip. How can gymnasts help prevent injury when training barefoot? Here are some ways gymnasts can strengthen their foot muscles to improve their performance.

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4 Common Ankle Injuries in Dancers

Posted on by Lizzy Miotti PT, DPT

In any sport or activity that puts demands on the body, injuries can occur, and dance is no different. Some of the most common injuries seen in physical therapy clinics in regards to dancers, are injuries related to the foot and ankle. The following information serves to help educate dancers on some of the more common ankle injuries, along with techniques that could be applied to help minimize the risk of these injuries. It is important to note that only a licensed medical professional can diagnose an ankle injury.

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No Big Toe, No Big Deal?

Posted on by Heather Strickland, B.S., PTA

Walking, running, jogging, dancing, are all functional activities we do daily without thinking about it. They simply come second nature to us and are essential to a healthy life. What if your big toe, also known as the hallux, was amputated? Would you still be able to do what you love at all or even with ease?

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5 Cardiovascular Fitness Considerations for Dancers

Posted on by Alyssa Hartley, PT, DPT, CMTPT

Dancers’ leaps, turns, and lifts can seemingly defy laws of physics. In order to jump higher and turn faster, dancers must implement cross-training for strength and endurance. Dancers from around the world have faced new challenges practicing at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, it is important for dancers to pursue physical fitness outside of traditional dance class to ultimately improve their technical abilities for when they hit the stage in the future.

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Knee Injuries Seen in Gymnasts

Posted on by Tara Hackney, PT, DPT, OCS, KTTP

Knee pain in young gymnasts is a common complaint. Many times these young athletes begin having pain due to overuse of the area. A common overuse injury is Osgood-Schlatter’s disease (OSD). OSD is inflammation of the patellar ligament below the kneecap. Often, there is a painful bump below the kneecap (the tibial tuberosity) where the ligament attaches.

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From the Dance Floor to the Living Room: A Look into Dance Safety

Posted on by Lizzy Miotti PT, DPT

Co-Authors: Andrew Ludwig PT, DPT and Bryan Lind PT, MPT, ATC

As the COVID-19 global pandemic continues around the country and the world, dancers have been taken from the studios and moved into their homes for virtual practices and performances. While the performing arts have had to adapt to these challenging times, it opens the door for potential injuries as many dancers do not have the proper equipment to practice safely and effectively in their home. In this blog, we’ll explore dance safety and the steps you can take to practice safely.

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6 Tips to Remain Healthy During a Modified Gymnastics Season

Posted on by Melissa Winterhalter, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS

The ongoing pandemic has changed many of our everyday lives – including those of athletes, many of which had to completely stop, pause or alter the way they participated in their sport. For gymnasts, their training had significantly changed since the end of the last high school or club gymnastics season. To help gymnasts return to their sport safely, here as six tips to keep in mind during the modified season.

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The New Normal: What it Means for the Dance Community

Posted on by Alyssa Hartley, PT, DPT, CMTPT

After almost six months of being away from The Joffrey Ballet and all of the dancers, there was finally a plan in which I can return onsite in my role as a Performing Arts Physical Therapist to safely provide care to them. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about returning. This day almost reminded me of first-day-of-school jitters. Our jobs are already high stakes and high pressure, but now a deadly virus has been added to the mix. We must be careful and mindful in everything we do that could risk our own or our dancers’ health. So before I get into how the return to studio unfolded, let me back up and explain the many months of preparation that went into this possibility turned reality of going back to help The Joffrey Ballet.

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