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goodtoes

Moving on from an injury

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My daughter (15) fractured her ankle over the summer, and we finally have clarity on the precise nature of the injury (8 weeks later).  It is good news: two fractures, one with a flake of bone coming off which really confused them, and a fracture across one part of the joint, but no ligament damage, the main fracture is stable and it should all be healing nicely.  She can now put weight on her foot, and her main complaint is lack of flexibility in the joint, which makes it hard to walk properly and is apparently just due to the swelling in the joint, and that is hurts if she uses it too much.  SO getting there.

 

She has had a lot of time off dance recently - a very limited timetable last year, due to a back problem (diagnosed as Bertolotti Syndrome exacerbated by Pole Vaulting (a girl has to have a hobby, apparently.  She tells me dancing isn't a hobby, it is a life)), gradually built back up to about 14 hours a week and then hurt her Achilles tendon.  Was staging another return when she landed a leap badly and, opps, ankle...

 

So, anyway.  I think we need to be really careful about how she restarts dancing and how we help her to build up her strength and technique so that she isn't constantly hurting herself.  Her current timetable (if she were dancing it) involves 2 pointe classes, 3 Inter ballet and 2 Adv 1 ballet, 1 Grade 6 ballet (and she is assistant teacher in a Grade 1 class) as well as Jazz, Modern, Acro, Hip Hop, Tap and a conditioning class.  Her teacher is super helpful, and is currently giving her a private Pilates session every week (free!), and I will be discussing with her how we manage E's return, as well as chatting to her (non-dance specialist) physio, but I wondered if anyone had any ideas about how to help a very keen dancer rebuild their strength and endurance whilst not taking part in their full timetable of classes.  My initial thoughts were for her to initially just do something like demonstrating G1 and dancing G6 and taking up swimming (alongside the Pilates, obviously)....  But I wonder if it would be better for her to do more ballet classes, but only to do the barre work to start with and build up from there.

 

Sorry this has been long.  I have spent the day trying to find sources of online advice or someone who can help her develop a personalised rehabilitation timetable type thing, but with no luck.  I hoped someone here might have some experience, or insight to offer.  Or even to know someone I could ask (we live in Wales).

 

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Having seen my own dd go through an ankle injury and subsequent rehab in her graduate year, I am a massive advocate for getting the rehab right before even putting a pair of ballet shoes back on. My dd spent the best part of 6 months “in rehab” following a very detailed schedule, which allowed her injury to heal properly and ensuring she was so much stronger and fitter when she did return to dance. My dd was very fortunate though that she was at vocational school and worked with the most amazing coach. I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe the right rehab is crucial to preparing the whole body before even contemplating a return to dance.

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Another vote for Floorbarre here, as well as doing gentle barre exercises in a (warm) swimming pool.  It’s a very slow process but must not be rushed.  

 

If you can get to Bath, Julian Widdowson is excellent.

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2 minutes ago, Anna C said:

Another vote for Floorbarre here, as well as doing gentle barre exercises in a (warm) swimming pool.  It’s a very slow process but must not be rushed.  

 

If you can get to Bath, Julian Widdowson is excellent.

 

...as is Nick Cleverton, the Physio.  

 

https://www.nidms.co.uk/bath

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Where in Wales are you? If you're in North Wales and can make a trip to Warrington I can strongly recommend Rupert Wiltshire (Science in Dance)  as a strength and conditioning specialist dealing with rehab and training of pre-professional dancers.

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Right - you are all confirming my feeling that we need to supervise this more closely than "oh, just give it time and it will all work out OK".

 

We are in South Wales - Swansea.  This means that we sadly can't access NDIMs as they don't accept referrals from Wales.

 

I haven't been able to find a dance spec physio in South Wales at all.

 

Bath is nearly 2 hours away, so not really achievable on a regular basis, although I suppose we might be able to arrange to go on an irregular basis if they wouldn't mind liasing with our regular (local) physio.

 

If any of you know of anyone in the South Wales area who might be able to help then please let me know!  Otherwise I will get in touch with the contact in Bath to see if we can organise something with them.

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I see Rupert Wiltshire does online coaching - that might work alongside her current physio...

 

Rebecca

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I appreciate it can be difficult to find someone to work with, but I would be cautious of any online coaching for post injury rehabilitation, unless the person has done a thorough face to face assessment of your dd and has full knowledge of the injury. Even better if the coach works in partnership with the physio, so that any ongoing treatment and rehab work complement each other. 

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Moneypenny - I was considering that we might drive up to Warrington for an initial consultation, and take it from there....  Though it is a 3 1/2 hour drive so I couldn't do it on a weekly basis!

 

Her current physio is great but honestly has no idea about dance (when E showed him a plie he seemed horrified...  "but... your knees!")  I just can't seem to find anyone locally who has that specialised knowledge.  Even the people mentioned above (Julian Widdowson and Nick Cleverton) seem to work for NDIMs which I am told we can't access from Wales.

 

So frustrating.

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I’m guessing your dd doesn’t have private health insurance, goodtoes? 😕  

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Also - thanks for the Floorbarre suggestions.  I am told Pilates is very similar, and she is currently taking classes in this with her dance teacher.

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have a search within the forum - going back a few years but I am sure there was someone searching for advanced ballet classes and a dance physiotherapist in south wales. I have a vague recollection of a dancer who after injury had retrained as a physiotherapist and was working out of Cardiff.

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6 hours ago, goodtoes said:

Moneypenny - I was considering that we might drive up to Warrington for an initial consultation, and take it from there....  Though it is a 3 1/2 hour drive so I couldn't do it on a weekly basis!

 

Her current physio is great but honestly has no idea about dance (when E showed him a plie he seemed horrified...  "but... your knees!")  I just can't seem to find anyone locally who has that specialised knowledge.  Even the people mentioned above (Julian Widdowson and Nick Cleverton) seem to work for NDIMs which I am told we can't access from Wales.

 

So frustrating.

Just because someone works for NIDMS doesn't mean that they don't work elsewhere too - might be worth contacting either of those people to see if they do anything additional.

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Google Lisa Howell - she is a dance physio who has developed lots of programs and one of them is called Will I Ever Dance Again? I think she has a website called The Ballet Blog.

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