Parents Guide: What to do when your dancer says they are hurt?

Image and reference by Beyond the

It is inevitable that sometime in your child's dance education that they will say something hurts. Above is a great guide for parents on what questions to ask your child to figure out what is going on and if they need medical attention. 

Here are some tips from Miss Rachel to add to the great resource above.

Ice is always a great tool for helping reduce inflammation and soothe away pain. It is important to remember to never use heat on an inflamed area, as swelling will continue. Over the counter ibuprofen is also good for reducing inflammation and reducing pain associated with the injury. When using ice it is extremely important to remember never to get up and dance, stretch, or doing any exercising after because the muscle is now cold. After icing dancers should rest and keep the area elevated above the heart if possible. I personally always go to ice before heat. 

Growing pains vs injury- while children's bodies are growing, it is not uncommon for them to experience growing pains or tightness. Growing pains however are not injuries. The best way to treat growing pains is with heat and light stretching of the area. Many times after stretching children will find the area feels better. A gently massage of the area is also helpful in reducing discomfort. Your dance instructors would be happy to show you good stretches or massage techniques for specific areas. 

Tape and braces- always consult a doctor before using a brace or tape. Sometimes braces can hinder movement or cause the injured muscle to become weaker or dependent on the brace. In any case braces should only be used for a short period of time when used to treat muscles. It is best to determine whether some time off would be beneficial and then follow up with a brace for a week after continuing activity. It is always best to talk to your doctor, physical therapist, and dance teacher to get a game plan together when using tape or braces. 

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