CriticalDance Forum

Shin Splints..fed up..please read
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Author:  Dancer246 [ Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Shin Splints..fed up..please read

Hello everyone, it's been a while since I lasted posted.
I think I've mentioned on here before that last year I began experiencing the dreaded shin splints. I then attended physiotherapy where they told me they suspected Shin Splints. Since then I've had regular physio visits and time off of dancing.

When I first started at the physio, I was referred to the hospital to have tests done (MRI scan and X-Rays)
The X-Rays ruled out stress fractures, however, the MRI scan revealed HUGE amounts of swelling which was still visible after being on my summer holidays at this point for 4 weeks with very little dancing, in which the Doctor replied "If this is what your shins are like now with less dancing that usual, I dread to think what they were like when you were dancing!" GREAT!
Anyway, he said that surgery was an option but there would obviously be a recovery time afterwards without any dancing which would have failed me the BTEC Dance I'm currently on and also some scarring, so I decided against it. He also suggested that I try and deal with the pain without surgery and continue physio, icing, taping etc in the hope that they might gradually disappear!
So this is what I did and luckily, our next project was physical theatre which doesn't revolve too much around full out dancing so my shins had a good few months rest and the pain went away for a bit so I thought this was the end of my problems.
AS IF! This project finished, and now we are doing musical theatre and right on cue...the shin pain has decided to make an appearance and since then, I've not had one day of dancing without pain in my shins and being extremely uncomfortable. Started back physio after reducing the appointments when the pain decreased and alas, my shins and every other muscle in my leg is extremely tight and painful !!

I don't know what to do. I'm auditioning for University's at the minute and it doesn't exactly look good on the forms does it?!
I have been dealing with the pain for a long time in the hope that it will go away, and I'm not saying it won't in the future, but I don't know how long I can put up with it?!
I love my dancing and involvement in the performing arts more than anything and my want is to go on to Uni and then go on to perform before teaching but I just don't know if I can do it?!
The problems with my legs are gradually having a knock on effect to my knees, hips, feet and I know this is what dancers are supposed to suffer from but this is over years and years of stress, please, I've had my fair share already!!
I suppose I just need a moan really because I'm stuck as to what to do.
Its making me having second thoughts about Uni and everything.
There's only so much pain I can put up with, its horrible!

Any advice or people in the same position at all?
Thanks and sorry for the long post x x x x

Author:  ksneds [ Fri Feb 16, 2007 3:16 pm ]
Post subject: 

This is really an issue that needs to be discussed between you and a qualified medical professional. Unfortunately my experience - at least in Scotland - is that speciality sports medicine care and physio are not well done.

You need to find an orthopedic surgeon with sports experience, preferably dance experience. If you have a ballet company near you, find out who they see - or see if there are any sports medicine doctors associated with nearby universities.

Injuries can take months and months to heal, and it's important to know your limits and accept them. Not every body can withstand the rigours of intense dance. But it's important not to give up until you get proper medical care from someone who has experience with sports/dance medicine.

Good luck and feel better.

Author:  Gina Ness [ Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:22 pm ]
Post subject: 

I'll second ksneds advice. You need to see someone who specializes in sports medicine, preferably someone who has worked with dancers. A second opinion from such a person will be very valuable for you to help you make some decisions. I'm so sorry that you are having such a painful, frustrating time. Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. It may be that you might need to put off your plans for a bit until you recuperate, but that doesn't mean you have to change them alltogether! Please let us know how you are doing and we wish you well!

Author:  Beth Kurtz [ Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:20 am ]
Post subject: 

Sorry, I only just found this thread.

One thing I think you should check out is your training. There are some bad habits that in some people can lead to a lot of trouble, habits such as not getting your heels down while jumping, poor hip placement, forcing the turn-out from the feet instead of the whole leg, etc. I'm not saying any of this is the cause of your problem (although when I had shin splints, it seemed to be partly from not getting my heels down). But any sort of chronic injury problem should inspire you to re-evaluate your training. There is simply no end of work to improve your technique and body alignment, with the best teachers you can find.

Some people can get away with all sorts of bad habits, and some people (like me) just can't.

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