Magazine article Dance Spirit

Expert Advice

Magazine article Dance Spirit

Expert Advice

Article excerpt



I have hip pain that is hindering my flexibility, and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements don't seem to help. How can I make the pain go away?

-Ariana Gast

Pain in the front (anterior) of your hips, where your thighs meet your pelvis, is a common problem for dancers who train intensively. For younger dancers, the cause is usually not the hip joint itself, but rather the fatigue or injury of the muscles that move the hip joint.

There are four main hip muscles: the rectus fermois and sartorius in the front of the thigh, and the psoas and iliacus above the pelvis, When you injure one or more of these muscles, they spasm, or tighten up, to protect themsetves. Musdes in spasm will pull on the hip joint make it less flexible and cause pain. The problem can worsen with time, so consult a sports injury specialist or ohvsical therapist rieht awav for treatment.

All dancers, especially those with an injury, should warm up their bodies before starting dance class warm-up. Arrive early to jog in place for five minutes to get your blood moving, then stretch your injured area. After class, ice your injured area for 10-15 minutes. You mentioned glucosamine and chondroitin, which are over-the-counter joint supplements thought to repair and promote reformation of cartilage in your joints. These supplements may help the pain associated with joint injuries, but take a number of weeks before you feel any relief, and will not heaS a musde injury.

-Jack R, Ctangiulio, DC, backstage chiropractic physician for Ballet Pacifica and California Riverside Ballet


I love to dance, but I'm not very flexible. …

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