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Some questions about injuries to all of our ballet dancers.

1- Even with the advancements in surgical and medical techniques, what injury have you noticed and/or experienced that is the most difficult to come back from?? ACL? Back? Archilles?

2-I am not a dancer, but I know that message therapy is one of the ways dancers try to keep going, in regards to "nagging" injuries. Is it pretty effective??

3- I know that lifting weights per say has been a no-no traditionally to strengthen up. Is it still frowned upon.

I am not a dancer, but whenever a dancer I know about gets injured, I really get upset because you guys work so hard. And it is such a short career. :(

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Fandeballetl, RE your third question. Here's a recent article from dance-teacher.com that supports strength training as a part of dancer conditioning.

There's no reference to the special needs of truly elderly dancers, but I found that -- after starting ballet classes at over 60 -- my past few years in the gym were of great help in negotiating plies, battements, all kinds of jumps, etc., etc., not to mention the need to control for balance, poise, etc.

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Injuries are, sadly, an ever-present reality in a dancer's life. It's rare for a dancer to be 100% healthy. I've heard dancers say that if they wake up in the morning feeling completely well, something's wrong!

I think it's interesting for us as audience members to understand more about this. Those who know, please chime in. Is there, as fandeballet asked, a particular kind of injury that is the worst of all, or does it depend on the dancer?

Regarding weight lifting, I remember reading in Peter Martins's autobiography that he embarked on a course of weight lifting as a very young corps member when his partner complained (he used a stronger word :( ) that he couldn't lift and support her properly.

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In post-performance Q&A's at PNB, several male dancers have noted that they do weight training. However, weight training technique has advanced in the last couple of decades, as have the machines, and many of the major companies have professional trainers, conditioning coaches, physical trainers, etc. on staff or on consult.

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The problem previously with weight training was that there were very few trainers who worked with dancers and knew anything much about what was required of dancers, male or female, and how weight training could be adapted to help. Many dancers today use Pilates for supplementary training. Gyrotonics is also popular. Surprisingly, therapists have noticed a low incidence of ACL injury in ballet dancers - many credit the turnout. Same goes for back injuries. Considering all our activity, back injury is rather infrequent. Achilles' tendon injury is the most common thing among most dancers, male and female alike. The dancers' observation on Murphy's Law is: Murphy invented the Achilles' tendon.

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from experience, as i've mentioned in my Welcome, my back is [for 3 yrs] what I'm still trying to come back from. IMO I think it's one of the hardest b/c the doctors can't technically see what or where the problems are, even from MRIs, etc.

One doctor could find a problem but it could end up that that's not the root of the pain. It may just be muscular pain.

I think massage would only help in certain cases like muscle spasms. Yet, too much massage could just aggravate the problem more.

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