Dancing is a fantastic activity that can provide cardiovascular and strength-training benefits, both of which are very important for improving and maintaining health and vitality as we age. However, dancing can sometimes pose a risk to your knees because of the impact placed on them during different dance moves. Professionals and Weekend Waltzers alike may experience pain during or after the activity, and dancing with knee pain can definitely cramp your Quickstep. Following are the top 4 sources of knee pain while dancing, and what you can do to keep the spring in your step.
Pain in the knee, with “locking” in the joint
Pain Behind the Kneecap
Pain and tenderness on the outside of the knee
Pain with a “Pop”
Inside the knee joint are two “C” shaped pieces of cartilage called menisci, which keep the surfaces of the upper leg bone and lower leg bones from grinding against each other. Injuries to this cartilage usually result from a trauma, like landing a jump, or twisting your knee. You may notice problems with range of motion, walking, or even the joint “locking.” Resting the knee and managing inflammation will help heal minor tears, while physical therapy can help strengthen and stabilize it.
Patella-Femoral Syndrome is a term that describes joint pain between the kneecap and the upper leg bone. Under the kneecap is a smooth cartilage lining that creates a gliding surface between the bones, and if it softens or wears away it can result in pain and inflammation. According to Neuromuscular Specialist and co-founder of the Performance Institute in New York City, major contributing factors to this knee pain while dancing are poor alignment when landing from jumps, and imbalanced quadriceps muscles, which can pull the kneecap side to side. Strengthening the quads, and stretches to lengthen the hamstring and calf will help reduce the risk of injury.
The Iliotibial Band is a thick band of tissue that extends from the outside of the hip down to the outside of the knee. Repetitive flexion and extension of the knee and lack of flexibility in the tissues can cause Iliotibial Band (ITB) Syndrome, which can put tension on the outside of the knee and result in knee pain while dancing. According to the Mayo Clinic, ITB Syndrome is an overuse injury, but weak hip muscles, ITB tightness and step pronation can add to the problem. Learning foam-rolling techniques can help stretch the ITB, and strengthening and stabilizing the lateral hip muscles will reduce the strain.
The MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament) and ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) are important, stabilizing ligaments in the knee that keep the joint from moving side to side. They can be easily injured as a result of trauma, like twisting, turning, quickly stopping, or if the knee is pushed side-to-side. Pain can be felt with a “popping” sensation. Learning correct positioning and alignment can help prevent this type of injury. Healing usually requires treatment with physical therapy, and may include bracing to support and stabilize the knee during recovery.
Knee Pain While Dancing
Dancing with knee pain shouldn’t sabotage your Salsa. Flexogenix® offers regenerative medicine, physical conditioning, and support and bracing to provide fast pain relief and healing at the source of the problem. Contact us today for your complimentary consultation!