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Hamstring pain in a dancer

THE SCIATIC NERVE CONNECTION

Article by Jason Racca

Photography by Canva

Dancers are artists and athletes rolled into one, embodying grace, strength, and resilience. However, the physical demands of dance often lead to injuries, some of which can become chronic if not addressed properly. A recent experience at a dance convention brought to light the complexities of dance-related injuries and the importance of a holistic approach in treatment.

The Case of the Acro Dance Instructor

At a recent dance convention, amidst the whirl of pirouettes and leaps, an acro dance instructor approached me. She had been grappling with persistent pain from a hamstring tear that occurred last year. Despite undergoing traditional therapy and chiropractic treatments, she continued to experience a frustrating 'pinching' sensation.

The Misconception of Healing Time

Six months had elapsed since her injury – more than enough time for her hamstring to heal. Yet, the pain persisted. This scenario is common among dancers. They often receive treatment focused on the immediate injury site, overlooking other potential contributing factors.

Discovering the Root Cause

In this instructor's case, the true culprit was not the healed hamstring but an issue with the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve, running deep to the hamstrings, can get adhered and restrict movement, leading to pain and limited mobility. The body is designed to protect the more important structures, nerves being one of those. To do this, the body will often limit motion in order to protect these structures.

A Breakthrough in Treatment

By shifting our focus to the sciatic nerve and employing a more comprehensive approach, we achieved remarkable results. The instructor gained about 50 degrees in her straight leg raise, a range of motion she hadn’t experienced post-injury.

The Holistic Approach

This case exemplifies why it's crucial for dancers to seek care beyond conventional physical therapy. R3 Physio, specializing in dancer health and longevity, looks at the entire body system, understanding that every part is interconnected. 

Conclusion

For dancers experiencing similar chronic issues, it’s vital to consult with specialists who look beyond the surface. At R3 Physio, we delve deep into the root cause of your pain, offering holistic, systems-based care tailored to your unique needs as a dancer. 

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