Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are extremely common injuries for dancers and athletes in general. Sprains occur when the ligaments of a joint (ankle, knee, wrist, elbow, etc.) are over-stretched. Sprains can be mild, resulting in just a few minutes or hours of discomfort, or may be more severe, requiring physiotherapy or in a few cases, even surgery.
A strain occurs when the tendons that link a muscle to the bone are over-stretched or partially torn. Sprains and strains can take a long time to resolve, due to the nature of soft tissue healing, which normally occurs over an 8-12 week time period following injury. In spite of this, a solid rehabilitation program can significantly improve your progress with recovery as well as athletic or dance performance if you can stay diligent with your exercises until the injury has fully healed. If you try to return to your full activity without a thorough assessment of your injury and appropriate rehab plan, oftentimes athletes and dancers will find that they set themselves back even further or re-injure the same area and have to start over with the recovery process. It’s important to stay patient and trust in your body’s natural ability to heal while engaging in a physical therapist-directed rehabilitation strategy.