Working with young athletes/performers is a huge passion of mine, I love to help young people learn more about their bodies and how to care for themselves when injured. Every once in a while I have the great fortune to work with a dancer, I love working with them because of the time, effort and passion they have about their craft. Last week I worked with a High School Dancer who was having pain in her knee while in First Position and 5th position (see pic).
When we talked about her history she told me about an ankle sprain she had before the knee pain surfaced (a big reason history is so important!). When I put here in Single Leg Stance on her R side the ankle looked ok, but her hips were showing some instability and collapsing on the R.
As a rule of thumb one of the first things I check with knee pain is the relationship between the popliteus, ankle and hips. We found her R ankle inversion to be inhibited by her R popliteus. Breaking this pattern allowed her to perform First Position with very little knee pain. We also found her hip R adduction to be inhibited by her R popliteus and this allowed her to get her L toes in line with her R heel with no pain.
Kids get injured the same as adults do often times the injury is allowed to linger affecting their performance and potentially causing other injuries to occur. I feel this is because parents, coaches, and adults don’t give them permission to talk about an injury or pass it off if they do. I’m glad this clients mom brought her in early on so we could get her back to pain free range of motion and some home work to help eliminate the dysfunctional pattern.
Practice Makes Improvement 🙂