Here at the Clarke Clinic and Reboot studio for the last 2 years we have had the privilege to work with the founder of The 5th Position method-Ms Victoria Vargas and many of dance her students. It has been, and continues to be fascinating opportunity to exchange and refine our work.
One of the things that Victoria has taught me is the importance of actively using the power of the breath and intention in movement and recruitment of the core. She has also hi-lighted at length the importance of the making full use of the power and movement of the hip, pelvis and glut muscles.
Working with the dance community has really helped to refine our Osteopathic approach. We have found again and again that to successfully work with the dancers we must apply the following approaches:-
- Considering the possible influence of the whole body not just the place of discomfort or dis-ease.
- The importance of good biomechanics and efficient body use.
- The importance of not just power and muscle strength but relaxation, range of motion, stability and awareness in diagnosis and treatment.
Given our findings I was fascinated to find that a study published in 2018 confirms our experience.
‘Risk Factors for Lower-Extremity Injuries in Female Ballet Dancers: A Systematic Review ‘, Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine December, 2018-
The authors review of 17 studies of ballet dancers injuries hi-lighted the following risk factors in dancers:-
- Alignment (efficient biomechanics) was a key risk factor for lower-extremity injury in both recreational and elite ballet dancers.
- Poor lumbopelvic movement control.
- Transversus abdominis contraction.
- Decreased lower-extremity strength.
- Poor aerobic fitness.
- Hypermobility of the hip and ankle.
- Longer training hours.