Monday, January 28, 2008

Beginning Pointe Work and Chiropractic Treatment For One Leg Shorter

Get your dancer's guide on self-assessments for beginning pointe work.

There are several accurate assessments that I've read recently of the problem of a dancer having one leg shorter and finding difficulty standing in an even position in ballet class. One thing I have not seen addressed is the spinal, or back bones' misalignment, or any joint misalignment that can affect the leg lengths.

If you are walking behind someone who has a back misalignment, or another joint misalignment, sometimes you can see that their shoulders are uneven.

If you see someone who needs a back adjustment, sometimes one of their hips is noticeably lower than the other. It is a little harder to notice that one leg is shorter than the other.

However, if you're standing in fifth position, the difference of having one leg shorter is like having something in your eye.

Assuming that you're not struggling with another situation like hyperextended knees, the fact of having one leg shorter could be from back misalignment.

If you visit a chiropractor, he or she is going to check (among many other things) your leg lengths.

Every major joint from the ankle through to the suboccipitals (just under your skull) can be checked and adjusted if necessary, until the two legs have the same length.

A neck or back misalignment is often the cause, or some other joint misalignment in the pelvic area.

And while you are there in the office, you can ask the doctor to check all your foot bones and make sure they are in place too.

Many chiropractors recommend that children get adjusted every three months to accommodate normal playing and sports. Many who work with serious sports players, ballet dancers and ice skaters recommend more frequent check ups, and ALWAYS when pain is experienced. Not soreness, but pain.

If you want to be assessed for pointe work, it's a good idea to get a chiropractic check up as well as any other type of physiotherapy check up. Knowing that you are strong enough, and that you don't have a back misalignment or another joint misalignment, means you can move on securely through pre-pointe daily routines, to beginning pointe work.

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