Forum: Advice / Injuries

Hip Pain - Concerns about safe independent practice
By dashboardx Comments: 4, member since Thu May 26, 2016
On Thu May 26, 2016 09:31 AM

I've just started to get serious about dancing in college but I've danced on and off my whole life, most recently I've had training with a dancer from the Russian ballet, so I'm pretty confident about the safety of my technique, but I'm afraid because I started having pain in my right hip. It may not be from dancing alone, my right leg has always been slightly shorter than my right and my chiropractor told me it was from misalignment in the hip joint that could be fixed with regular adjustments, even though I haven't been adjusted in a while my legs recently evened out after I began doing a yoga sequence for hips every morning. While I wait for summer dance classes to start I've been practicing on my own in a studio almost every day, I do a warm up, barre work and stretching before I do anything else. The hip pain started during certain stretches, especially butterfly and frog, so I try not to lean too much into the stretch and often the hip pops but I don't intend to pop it or try to. I have all my splits and they feel fine. I got a dull ache in the hip one night but didn't think much of it, until now today at work as I was sitting at my desk I started getting minor, but sharp pains right in the joint and I'm worried I may have done damage. I'm also very fatigued and sore today because I went swimming after practicing yesterday, I'm not usually sore after dancing for the hour or so that I do. Does anyone have any advice about hip pain or what I can do to fix/prevent this?

3 Replies to Hip Pain - Concerns about safe independent practice

re: Hip Pain - Concerns about safe independent practice
By everylittlestep Comments: 2, member since Tue May 17, 2016
On Sat May 28, 2016 10:28 PM
I am a completely self-taught dancer, which means all my dancing is done independently, so I'm not a newbie when it comes to injuries! I guess you can call my hips deformed; they don't sit where they're supposed to and the problems have existed since birth -- so I understand your frustration.
I'll start off by telling you that one of the WORST things you can do is "rest." Stopping physical activity entirely is not going to help you at all. In fact, it will only make your pain return when you start back dancing again. What I do when I have a hip injury is I go a little easier than I normally would. Ballet is not good for the hip joints and the bones surrounding, so I would suggest maybe learning some soft lyrical combinations or taking an easy tap class. Tap will get you moving on your feet without putting too much pressure on your hip. Lyrical will help you continue to improve your technique, but you won't be doing any hardcore ballet movements.
When you're not dancing, try to keep the leg elevated from the hip (in other words, keep the leg completely straight while elevated so the hip is feeling the stretch without too much pressure). Another thing that will help is laying flat on your back with your butt pressed up against a wall and your legs flat up against the wall, parallel to it. Sit in this position for several minutes and shift your hips slightly if it gets uncomfortable. This will allow gravity to settle your hip back into socket gently (or so I hear).
I'm not a doctor, so I can't say whether these things will definitely help you. This is just what works for me. I hope you get feeling better! :)
re: Hip Pain - Concerns about safe independent practice
By hummingbird Comments: 10441, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Sun May 29, 2016 08:28 AM
Ballet is only bad for your hips when the wrong muscles are engaging to perform the steps, which is why you need a teacher to see what's going on, it's very difficult to watch your own butt (turnout muscles) as you dance.

I would stop doing the frog stretch. Whilst there's a lot debate amongst teachers about it's validity or not current medical research has found it can be a major cause of instability in the hip rather than stretching it as we think it does. From what you're describing it sounds like something to do with the labrum and I would urge you to go easy and get this looked into.
re: Hip Pain - Concerns about safe independent practice
By dashboardx Comments: 4, member since Thu May 26, 2016
On Sun May 29, 2016 10:13 AM
Thank you for the advice! I've been really careful about trying to use the right turnout muscles, but luckily summer classes will start up soon and I can talk to one of my teachers and make sure I don't develop any incorrect habits! Plus the pain was always the worst during frog so I will gladly give it up in place of some safer stretches.