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Treating Common Dance Injuries

This is an excerpt from Beginning Hip-Hop Dance With Web Resource by E. Moncell Durden.

Treatment for all injuries begins with the PRICED approach: protection, rest, ice, compression, elevation, and diagnosis.

  • Protection. Don't try to tough it out! Doing so will likely cause further damage to your tissues.
  • Rest. Stop dancing so the injury can heal. While you are resting, observe what you feel. Is it a dull ache? A stabbing or throbbing pain? What is the precise location of your injury? Did it happen on the first repetition or on the tenth?
  • Ice. Applying ice to an injury cannot hurt you, and it should always be your first line of defense. Ice reduces swelling and thus can begin to alleviate pain. Ice the injury for 10 to 12 minutes, then remove the ice for 12 minutes before reapplying for another 10 to 12 minutes. Ice and restthree times. To prevent skin burns, put a towel or two or three layers of fabric between your skin and the ice.
  • Compression. For certain injuries, you can help reduce swelling by constricting the injured area by wrapping it with an elastic bandage. If you do not have one, use a t-shirt, bandana, scarf, or anything that can be tied around the area. Do not wrap it as tightly as possible; just make the wrapping snug. If you feel a throbbing sensation, unwrap the bandage and rewrap it more loosely. Complete the compression step only if you have an acute injury with swelling. This treatment is not needed for dance injuries that develop slowly with no apparent swelling.
  • Elevation. Raise the injured area above the heart to help reduce swelling. Again, this step is necessary only for an acute injury with swelling.
  • Diagnosis. Within 24 to 48 hours, see a medical professional - that is, a doctor, physical therapist, or athletic trainer.


Technique Tip


If you suffer an injury that prevents you from dancing, continue to attend class as an observer. Take written notes and turn them in to the instructor at the end of class to show that you are still developing your eye for observing movement.