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cynmckee

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Issue: DD15 has a physical imbalance.  The left side of her body has much more muscle development then her right side.  Her "six pack" is much more developed on her left side as well as her back muscles.  She has developed some functional scoliosis this year because of this I think.  She hasn't had scoliosis before this year.  Her hips are anteverted so her natural stance is slightly turned in.  Despite all of this the kid does really, really well and is a beautiful dancer. She does experience a lot of hip pain.

Background:  She has been to a sports doctor for potential hip tears and hip popping.  She has had the dye injected MRI on her hips. She was in physical therapy for six months or so to deal with hip popping.  She has done some pilates with the physical therapist and then again after PT ended.  She goes to a chiropractor for the scoliosis correction and she also does a lot of deep tissue massage.  She is going to start a Rolfing 10 course over the summer.

All have seen this muscle imbalance and all thought "whoa" but none have really addressed it as they were focusing on the issue of the day.  I really want this addressed and a plan made out to help this issue as I am kind of starting to feel this will lead to the source of her problems.  Everything the professionals do seems to help but only temporarily.  Where would you go?  Back to the sports doc?  Back to the physical therapist?  Someplace else?  DD is kind of taking the summer off (not really she still dances almost every day but isn't doing more than a 2 week intensive.)  I would like this to be the summer we figure out what is going on for her.

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kmpmom

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Reply with quote  #2 
Wow!  That's really quite interesting and I'm sorry to hear your DD is going through this.  It's almost as if her brain is sending more signal to one side than the other.  I was glad to see she'll try some Rolfing.  That was suggested two years ago for DD's hip and short muscle/long bone issue by two different PTs and a massage therapist.  They seem to really believe in it.  My concern would be long term effects on her skeletal system from the imbalanced weight.  Have you spoken with anyone at the Rolfing place?  
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cynmckee

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmpmom
Wow!  That's really quite interesting and I'm sorry to hear your DD is going through this.  It's almost as if her brain is sending more signal to one side than the other.  I was glad to see she'll try some Rolfing.  That was suggested two years ago for DD's hip and short muscle/long bone issue by two different PTs and a massage therapist.  They seem to really believe in it.  My concern would be long term effects on her skeletal system from the imbalanced weight.  Have you spoken with anyone at the Rolfing place?  


Not yet.  She doesn't start the Rolfing series until the beginning of July.  it comes with a 3 session movement clinic where I think they evaluate her movement.  I am really hoping this will help and so does she.  From the videos I've watched, it seems promising.  I think she is starting to be slightly concerned as her friends are noticing her imbalanced six pack and well, I guess when your friends notice something, it becomes important.  I kind of don't want to all of our eggs here though since she does have free time for the next few months.
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tapstermom

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I had hip issues for years, thought it was just old age hitting me.  I was taking cortisone shots twice a year for awhile.  My dr finally sent me to physical therapy--I kind of resisted-but it was the best thing for me.  What he told me-the therapist, was that we all tend to lend toward our strong side(in my case the right) and because of that my left side was weak.  He gave me exercises to strengthen my left side.  It has been fabulous ever since.  My back no longer gets sore when I stand since he taught me how to stand.  He did say that some scolis was from leaning to much to one direction.  I guess what I am saying, is maybe try a physical therapist to work on the weak side.  Good luck!
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Michgal

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Reply with quote  #5 
Pilates!! BUT with an instructor that knows dance ( hopefully you can find one!). We had started pilates for dancers class with some girls from her studio just to address some strength issues- it was hit or miss depending on the comp/rehearsal schedule and fizzled out for the next year. Then after my DD had surgery for her torn meniscus - PT just got her a little way back - so we started one on one classes with the pilates instructor. The difference has really been night & day and we learned that in addition to gaining back strength from the injury that my DD was experiencing some similar issues (with one side being much stronger than the other). So much so that she would pull one side of her her rib cage out of whack- as in loosening ribs, as the one side was so much stronger! we've found it's very important to go after a convention as the stronger side pulling the weaker side would cause not only the rib cage issues but also hip, and tight rotators ( I may be describing that wrong).

It was crazy the things she has her do and contraptions she hooks her up to - all while she wears an eye patch over her dominant eye! She's evened out between the two sides much better and has gained a great deal of overall strength after 6 months of 1 hour privates.  I would bet your daughter could see improvement faster!

I can not stress how important it is to find the right pilates person though- when Carolina is gone and Dd gets one of the her other instructors she says it's a waste of time and money as they just don't have as much knowledge about dance and what it does to her body and how to fix it.   
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jlm645

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Reply with quote  #6 
I wonder about an athletic/personal trainer.  Not in place of medical care of course, but it seems like they would know how to target the very specific muscle groups.  My dd saw a PT for a while who was also a athletic trainer for a little while- if it was me I would probably start there.

That dominate eye is definitely a thing too.  I don't know anything about it, but my son is unquestionably left handed- except that he bats and swings a golf club right handed which I always thought was odd.  He never thought about, or started left and switch to right- he just picked up the bat and hit right.  A really great basketball coach was working with him and after about 15 minutes asked me if he did anything right-handed and I told him about the batting.  The coach said that is because he is right eye dominant and that caused him to adjust how he was coaching him to shoot. So what Michgal is saying makes perfect sense to me.
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stpierremom

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Reply with quote  #7 
@cynmckee - how is your dd doing now?  What path did you end up taking?

My dd14 has been complaining of hip pain since just before Thanksgiving.  It really only hurts when she dances -- and then only with certain moves.  We had hoped that giving it 2 weeks of rest over Christmas would be helpful, but she went back to dance on Monday and the pain is still there.  I found your thread when looking for ideas on where to start the process of getting her some help.  Any guidance for us?  She's never been injured before.
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cynmckee

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This is all opinion.  If I were in your shoes I would start doing some heavy research into the best physical therapist who has a strong history of working with dancers in your area.  If you have a local ballet company, call them and ask them who they use.  If is it only occurring when she dances, it doesn't sound like it is  a severe hip tear (but again, this is only opinion...I am not a doctor and could be very, very wrong.)  The physical therapist can help direct you to a good sports med doctor who also understands dance.  I never found that in Denver.  I had a fantastic PT but the doctors dd saw really didn't get dancers because they worked with soccer players and similar sports primarily.   Hopefully the PT will be able to help your dd understand what is happening within her body and help her protect herself from injury.

I have to say, some dance teachers really haven't had that much physiology training and ask their students to do things that are really harmful to their bodies.  Dd used to have one specific teacher that after her classes she was hardly able to walk...not muscle pain but deep hip incisor pain. She would show the PT what she was doing, and the PT suggested she go to the bathroom during that section of class in order to get out of there because it was a hip tear waiting to happen.  That teacher is gone now, thankfully.

Rolfing has helped, but it wasn't the miracle cure we had hoped it would be.  There was a lot of weepy tears in the beginning for dd.  Not because of the rolfing pain but because she had to come to grips that there would not be an instant cure for her.  Her hips are so antiverted that the issue is just structural for her and she needs to be cognizant of her alignment even when she is sitting watching TV.  Just like in PT and in dance class, it's the little day to day alignment things that really seem to matter, but are hard to stay on top of.  It's all retraining of bad habits.  The rolfer has really helped dd focus on her diet more than she was as well.  He is really pushing on more healthy fats, no sugar, etc. to help her body recover faster from stress.

Ultimately I think for dd what happened was that her hips were so out of alignment for so long that it has caused functional scoliosis.  One side of her body has denser muscle mass than the other.  Her moves aren't all that stronger on one side though....it's weird.  She does have some hard core muscle tone.  She always has.  But the uneven muscles in her back have been causing her to pull to one side.  She does go to a chiropractor and that gives her a lot of relief, but it is only temporary.  That is why we started the rolfing.  We were hoping for some insight to a long term solution.
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stpierremom

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks for your insights, cynmckee.  It sounds like you have been as thorough as possible in finding solutions for your dd.  So many options, and it's so hard to know what is best for my dd.  We do not have a professional ballet company here, but there is a contemporary company, I think.  I'll have to do some research.

Any metro-Detroit parents have a referral?  We're in the NE suburbs.
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tiptoemom

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stpierremom....my daughter had this pain start last November. She had knee and hip pain. Luckily, we live in an area with doctors and pts who specialize in dance. The PT immediately saw that my daughter had an alignment issue. The most obvious "sign" was that she pronated her foot when she walks (you can see how the soles of her shoes wear down). She went to an orthopedic dance specialist for an evaluation. He took hip and knee x-rays to confirm that it was not an anatomical issue. 

All of this coincided with leaving our large, residential pre-pro school. This alignment issue was not commented on or corrected in class and both the doctor and PT stated it must have been going on for quite some time. Daughter was not working in alignment. Her new studio AD noticed this immediately. All of her teachers are also aware and will immediately correct her. This, along with 6 months of twice a week PT have worked wonders. She was not able to audition for SI's last year and opted to go to CPYB. It was the best decision for her. They have a reputation as a ballet boot camp and level the kids in groups to work on weaknesses. Sure enough, she was grouped with other dancers with alignment issues. So, she had another 5 weeks of intensive training to correct and work on this issue. She has some pain once in a while, but now knows to what to do:  work on her PT exercises, rest and focus on alignment in class (5 toes on the ground!!!) Also, we used Dr. Scholl's ortho inserts for certain shoes to keep her foot stable while walking.

This may not be your daughter's underlying issue, but I wanted to share our experience. I don't know your area, but your idea to ask the contemporary company is a good one. Good luck. It is not a fun process, but I have to tell you that my daughter is much more aware of her body and correcting this has cleaned up some technique issue.



 
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