Benign Joint Hypermobility Syndrome in Dancers

WHAT IS IT?

Benign joint hypermobility syndrome (BJHS) is a connective tissue disorder that involves excessive joint movement occasionally alongside other digestive, skin or inflammatory issues. Hypermobility is common in dancers with hypermobility and BJHS being 11 times more likely in student and professional dancers than their non-dancing counterparts.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN IF YOU ARE HYPERMOBILE?

If you have excessive movement at your joints, it’s likely that you have more trouble controlling your movement. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If your elbow bends back the other way but your brain thinks that THAT is straight, chances are you’ll have difficulty knowing exactly where your joints are positioned. The most common injuries in dancers occur from overuse (secondary to poor movement control). Those dancers that don’t have enough strength and awareness to control their hypermobility are at an increased risk of injury. Unfortunately, those that do get injured can have trouble progressing as far in their career.

WHY SO COMMON IN DANCERS?

When well-controlled, having increased movement at your joints can be an asset for dancers! Students don’t BECOME hypermobile because they dance; rather they dance BECAUSE they’re hypermobile. Having joints that move beyond the normal range of motion allows ballet dancers to achieve those aesthetically pleasing lines and be able to move into exquisite positions seemingly effortlessly.

WHAT SHALL I DO WITH THIS INFORMATION?

It has been proven that dancers who have improved neuromuscular joint control are at a lower risk of injury. Given that injury in the hypermobile population can limit progression in the career; we advise that you contact your dance physiotherapist at Langwarrin Sports Medicine Centre for a consult to asses you and provide a conditioning program to reduce your risk of injury.

Follow this link to see if you might have hypermobile joints:

https://www.ehlers-danlos.com/assessing-joint-hypermobility/

Written by: Alanna Churcher

Bookings: 03 9789 1233

83-85 Cranbourne Rd, Langwarrin

 




Four Surprising Reasons To Visit Your Physiotherapist

When you tear a muscle or wake up with a stiff neck, your physiotherapist is often the first person you think to call. While aches and pains are indeed the bread and butter of physiotherapists, there are many conditions that your physiotherapist can help with that you may not be aware of. Physiotherapists have a broad skill set that encompasses many areas of healthcare from childhood to old age. Here are a few surprising conditions physiotherapists can assess and treat. 

1. Vertigo

The dizziness and spinning sensations created by vertigo can drive you to distraction. There are specific kinds of vertigo that respond very well to physiotherapy treatment.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a type of vertigo caused by small loose crystals in the inner ear, resulting in dizziness when the head is turned in different positions. Your physiotherapist can give you exercises to relocate these crystals and regain your balance.

Physiotherapists can also help with habituation exercises for other types of vertigo. If in doubt, have a quick chat with one of our therapists to see if they might be able to help you.

2. Neurological Conditions

Strokes, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and head injuries are all conditions that your physiotherapist has been trained to treat. In the private practice setting, they are particularly helpful at stretching the tight muscles affected and providing specially tailored strengthening exercises.

3. Incontinence

Pregnancy and childbirth can cause significant damage and stress for the pelvic floor and pelvic organs. Incontinence can have a huge impact on the quality of life and cause substantial emotional distress. Fortunately, with treatment, many people see significant improvements. Physiotherapists who have specialised in women’s health can assess and provide education, support and treatment for a range of women’s and men’s pelvic floor issues.

4. Balance and falls prevention.

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury, especially as we age, our bone density begins to decrease, and our ability to prevent falls gradually declines. Physiotherapists can detect reductions in balance that can predict your falls risk and help you to regain your confidence through balance and strength training.

The information in this article is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for an assessment of your condition. 

 

 

 

 




Muscular Trigger Points

What Are they?

Muscular trigger points are better known to most of us as muscle knots and can feel like painful, hard lumps located inside muscles. These knots can both be painful to touch and refer pain in surrounding areas. It is thought that trigger points form when a portion of muscle contracts abnormally, compressing the blood supply to this area, which, in turn, causes this part of the muscle to become extra sensitive.  Trigger points are a common source of pain around the neck, shoulders, hips and lower back.

trigger points

What Causes this?

Many factors can cause trigger points to develop; repeated stress, injuries, overuse and excessive loads are common examples. Inflammation, stress, nutritional deficiencies and prolonged unhealthy postures may also contribute to the formation of these painful areas. Generally speaking, muscular overload, where the demands placed on the muscle mean that the fibres are unable to function optimally, is thought to be the primary cause of trigger points. This is why you might notice trigger points in weaker muscles or after starting a new training program.

Signs and Symptoms

Pain caused by trigger points can often be mistaken for joint or nerve-related pain as it is often felt in a different location to the site of the trigger point. Trigger points feel like hard lumps in the muscles and may cause stiffness, heaviness, aching pain and general discomfort. They often cause the length of the affected tissues to shorten, which may be why trigger points can increase the symptoms of arthritis, tennis elbow, tendonitis and bursitis.

How Can Physiotherapy Help?

Your physiotherapist will first assess and diagnose trigger points as the source of your pain. If they feel that treatment will be beneficial, there are a variety of techniques that can help, including dry needling, manual therapy, electrical stimulation, mechanical vibration, stretching and strengthening exercises. While these techniques may be effective in treating trigger points, it is important to address any biomechanical faults that contribute to their development.

Your physiotherapist is able to identify causative factors such as poor training technique, posture and biomechanics and will prescribe an exercise program to address any muscle weaknesses and imbalances.  If you have any questions about how trigger points might be affecting you, don’t hesitate to ask your physiotherapist.

The information in this article is not a replacement for proper medical advice. Always see a medical professional for an assessment of your condition. 

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, make a booking at www.psmgroup.com.au

Langwarrin Sports Medicine: 03 9789 1233

Mornington Central Physiotherapy: 03 5973 5511

 




COMMON DANCE INJURIES

Did you know that the most common injuries in ballet dancers are overuse injuries?

Overuse injuries are a product of repetitive load during which the dancer has poor movement control. Examples of this include:

  • Forcing turnout from the knees/ankles rather than the hips
  • Sickling or fishing at the ankles through rises
  • Scrunching of the toes to stabilise on demi pointe
  • Over-reliance on the shin muscles to support the arch rather than the intrinsic foot musculature
  • Returning to dance after school holidays
  • Poor foot and hip specific strength-focussed warm-up before commencing pointe work
  • Swaying the hips forward

Between 46% and 76% of pre-professional and professional dancers experience an injury each year (2,3,4). The most common injuries in recreational dancers are to the knees and in pre-professional and professional dancers in the feet and ankles (1,2). It’s important to note that 36% of chronic injuries that are reported by professional ballet dancers started before they reached the age of 18 (5).

What Does This Mean?

On the plus side, overuse injuries occur secondary to poor neuromuscular control and reduced load tolerance. This means they can mostly be prevented! If you have had an injury, are experiencing some pain or discomfort or are returning to a dancer after a break; come in to see our Dance Physiotherapist Alanna Churcher for assessment and diagnosis. She will be able to educate you about the areas you can work on and create a specific warm-up and conditioning program tailored to your body and your goals.

Written by Alannah Churcher

To book:

www.psmgroup.com.au

Ph: 03 9789 1233

Langwarrin – 83-85 Cranbourne rd, Langwarrin

 

 




Gluteal Tendinopathy – “Pain in the butt”

Jenny is a 65-year-old lady who has just retired recently. Her GP suggested she lose some weight to reduce aches and pains in her knees and back. Jenny decided to take on daily 5km walks and also joined a power walk group. Prior to this, Jenny was not very physically active and used to work in an office.  Shortly after, she started noticing pain on the side of her right hip that is painful first thing in the morning, painful when getting up after sitting or driving for a while.

Her symptom seems to get better or “warm-up” with movement but gets aggravated when doing too much. Jenny also experiences disturbed sleeps due to difficulty getting comfortable lying on either side. Jenny tried to “massage it out” and leg stretches with no noticeable effect… She is frustrated that the pain is preventing her from walking and achieving her goal of losing weight.

If this sounds familiar, you may be experiencing a condition called Gluteal Tendinopathy.  It occurs because the muscle group has been overloaded compared to its current capacity.

In this case, the load is a sudden increase in walking activities, and capacity refers to Jenny’s CURRENT ability to cope with a certain walking distance or intensity.

So what is Gluteal tendinopathy anyway?

It is an overuse injury to the gluteal tendon which attaches your gluteal (backside) muscles to the side of the hip.

What do I need to do to get better?

Avoid positions that may irritate the already irritated tendon. This includes hanging off one hip when standing, sitting with leg crossed, sleeping on the painful side, walking with a large stride or uphill, stretching your ITB or gluteal muscles.

  1. Pain management. Manual therapy may help provide short term relief. Anti-inflammatory medications have showed to delay the healing process of the tendon, therefore may not be the first choice for pain relief. Isometric exercise has been shown to have a pain-relieving effect on tendon pain, see a physiotherapist to find out more.
  2. Improve tendon’s loading capacity. See a physiotherapist to get an accurate diagnosis and a loading program accordingly.
  3. A gradual return to the aggravating activities. A physiotherapist will be able to guide you through returning to the activity that you enjoy.

 

Written by Jess Zhu

Book a time in with Jess, at either

www.psmgroup.com.au

Langwarrin Sports Medicine Centre – 03 9789 1233

Eramosa Physiotherapy – 03 5977 6590




WRY NECK

Have you ever woken up with a sore neck and unsure of what’s caused? Is it particularly harder to move your neck towards one side? There’s a good chance you have a wry neck!

WHAT IS IT WRY NECK?

The onset of neck pain is typically accompanied by limitations in movement. This can occur after a sudden, sharp movement of the neck or upon waking up. During your sleep, you may have slept in an awkward position for a prolonged period which may have contributed to this.

CAUSES OF WRY NECK

Within the cervical spine, impairments to these structures may be responsible for your pain:

  • Stiff joints of the spinal vertebrae
  • Muscle spasms
  • Irritated intervertebral discs
  • Poor posture

 

Poor sleeping posture and suboptimal neck position during sleep may put increased pressure on the facet joints (in the cervical spine) – causing it to stiffen or ‘lock-up’. This has flow-on effects,  causing muscle tightness, spasming and pain. As a response to pain and stiffness, the available range of motion becomes limited. This makes activities in your daily life such as doing head checks when driving difficult!

Another contributing factor towards your neck pain may arise from irritated intervertebral discs. These structures are positioned in between each vertebrae and are responsible for cushioning the spine and are essential for normal mobility and movement. Prolonged poor neck posture may irritate these discs.

PHYSIOTHERAPY MANAGEMENT FOR WRY NECK

This condition can be debilitating and have large implications on your day to day life. Seeing a physiotherapist will help you distinguish the true cause of your pain. It is important to figure out what structure is responsible, as this will determine the most appropriate management strategy. Physiotherapists are well equipped with a range of manual therapy modalities, postural correction techniques and exercise prescription to aid in your recovery.

 

Written by Peter Duong

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, make a booking with Peter at:

Langwarrin Sports Medicine: 03 9789 1233

Mornington Central Physiotherapy: 03 5973 5511