The hip is a ball-and-socket joint, and together with intricate sets of ligaments offers a ballet dancer tremendous range of motion, and at the same time also withstands great weight. The hip is one of the most elegant parts of the body, if you take it from an engineers perspective.
There of course is the occasional price to be paid for all that beautiful motion that your hips afford you. There might be occasional strain on the hip ligaments, or more frequently the muscles in the hip area. Some ballet dancing movements can create imbalances in the hip area. There is always differences in the strength and elasticity of the muscles in the hip and the most common conditions amongst dancers are hip flexor tendonitis, impingement and of course snapping hip syndrome.
Snapping hip syndrome is caused from tight tendons in front of the hips. These tight tendons can cause the tendon over the hip joint to snap and this often makes a clicking sound. If this happens to you, you may also notice tenderness or pain across the front of the hip. There will also be a pinching pain in you’re your knees if you bring them up to your chest. Developpes may be painful to perform.
To prevent this happening in your ballet dancing, the hip flexors all the abductors will need to be gradually stretched and strengthened. In your ballet dancing, your torso must be correctly aligned by not overarching the back or tucking under. Don’t sink into the hip while standing on one leg, or hike up the hip of the working leg. Twisting the pelvis and forcing positions is also asking for trouble.
If you have pain over the side of your hip, you could be suffering from trochanteric bursitis. This is an inflammation of the trochanteric bursa and is a common cause of hip pain in ballet dancers. The trochanteric bursa lies underneath the attachment of the broad flat bone of the femur, and serves to cushion and reduce friction between the bones, tendons and muscles.
Causes of trochanteric bursitis could be from overuse or structural imbalances in the pelvic area. Treatment will normally involve lessening the workload, and stretching and strengthening the affected areas.
If you have pain in the front of your hip near your groin, you could be diagnosed with iliacus tendonitis or iliopsoas syndrome. This is common amongst younger dancers and affects the iliacus muscle at the lower portion of the iliopsoas muscle at the front of the hip.
This condition is also from overuse and increased emphasis on hip flexion and internal rotation, so it affects modern dancers more often. Treatment will include reducing dance load until the symptoms subside. Anti-inflammatory medication can assist with reducing the swelling along the tendon. The ballet dancer may also need to strengthen and correct muscle imbalances, so advice from a physical therapist or athletic trainer may be well worth while.
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