Hi CarliAnn here! I just completed a big show week with Intrepidus Dance in Seattle and we had an amazing time! Check us out at website….
Leading up to show week I was experiencing knee pain, which was terrifying! My knees don’t usually give me trouble so this was a new sensation to be experiencing.
I noticed the pain began to increase from uncomfortable to actually painful and stiff when I started working more hours at my restaurant job where I have to wear a minimum of a 1 inch heel. My time on my feet in heels went from 15-20 hours a week to 25-30 hours a week. That coupled with the increased rehearsal time in preparation for upcoming shows and projects caused some overuse in my knee. Like many dancers, my initial approach was to acknowledge the discomfort and hope it would resolve on its own. That was not the case.
(I am not a medical professional! Please seek medical help when experiencing pain, this is just my personal account)
This injury may have stemmed from a hip injury I had in the summer that caused misalignment on that side of my body. It’s important to remember that everything is connected, in this case my hip injury transferred to my knee and ankle at times. My steps for personal rehab was rolling my quads, IT bands, hamstrings, and calves on a roller or with a rolling pin whenever I was in the dance studio. This was helpful, having tightness in any of these areas can cause strain on the ligaments in the knee and even cause tracking issues. I also began lying on my back and rolling a large exercise ball up and down the wall with my feet till my knees reached a 90 degree angle or less, focusing on alignment the whole time. This was helpful to reduce swelling in my knee (ELEVATE! Gravity was helping in pulling that excess fluid back to my heart and circulatory system).
These were steps were helpful while in the dance studio but, I was still experiencing pain in my day-to-day life. My knee was beginning to make new clicking sounds and hurt when I was driving, bending down, and in general just felt less stable. I went to my chiropractor and talked to him about this. He discovered that my patella, the floating sesamoid bone in my knee joint, had more mobility on my injured side compared to my non-injured side. This increased mobility indicated to him that the alignment of the patella was not where it should be. He adjusted that side and recommended that I come back weekly for the next few weeks. I felt an immediate decrease in pain and increase in stability after being adjusted, but still not 100%. I wore a brace while in rehearsal for about a week and half following my first adjustment. It has been three weeks and find that I don’t need the brace as often and feel more stable. I did not wearing the brace for the performances and have had no trouble so far.
This is good news! I have an adventure filled month of touring in the next month and need to be in the best shape I can be. That being said, knee pain is not something to take lightly. I will continue my rehab and seeing the chiropractor as he recommends. I also will be seeking the advice of a physical therapist in the coming week. I highly recommend seeking medical professional help much sooner than I did. By waiting and attempting to solve the problem on my own, I most likely caused my recovery time to last longer and experienced pain longer than what was necessary.
CarliAnn & Ella