eaping, turning, extensions, going on pointe—these are all potential injury risks for a dancer. Some of the most common dancer injuries are ankle sprains and strains. It is super stressful and a total bummer to be injured but dancers can recover more quickly if they follow these 5 tips to care for a sprain or strain at the very beginning of their injury.
Follow the RICE method.
- Rest. Once you know your injury is too painful to dance on, definitely sit out and don’t try to dance while injured.
- Ice. Use ice on the injured area for 10-15 minutes, 3 times a day initially for the first 3-5 days.
- Compression. If you have an injury that swells and is painful, make sure you use compression (Ace wrap).
- Elevation. If your injury swells, make sure you lift your injury above your heart. This will help to alleviate the swelling.
Make sure to see a physician if your injury is impacting you for more than a week. If your injury hurts so bad that you can’t dance in a week, you should be seen by your doctor.
Modify your activity. As soon as you feel able to do something, get active. If you can’t dance yet, but you can swim, then jump in the pool to regain strength and start to rehab your injury.
When you return to dance, go slowly in class. Make sure you are testing your ability to do the things you think you can now do. Make sure not to rush your recovery.
Once you are back at dance, keep icing after classes because your injury may still feel sore. However, if your soreness lasts into the next day, then you know you’ve pushed it too far.
Rehabbing from an injury is a balancing act. Make sure you don’t ask too much of your injured body too quickly!