Ballerina Pain Relief

My brother, John, has gone and gotten himself another ballet injury. As I’ve said before, I’m pretty suspicious of the dance company that he’s been interning with, as far as their workplace practices go. I think they work their dancers too hard. Try telling that to a seventeen year-old, though. On the plus side, John’s been pretty good with bouncing back from the shoulder issues he’s had – his GP says the rotator cuff injury has pretty much healed. So I guess one thing I’ll say for the dance company is that its physio team must have its stuff together.

He told me that one of the therapists at the studio clinic has recently added something called trigger point dry needling to her repertoire. She hasn’t had it applied to John, but one of his fellow dancers received it as part of treatment for an ongoing hip complaint. According to John, it’s increasingly common for manual therapists to complete clinical dry needling courses  – basically, if you’re practicing in physiotherapy, osteopathy, chiropractic or the like, you can sign up to learn how to administer this technique.

It’s coming back to me now – a friend of mum’s was on about this a while back. She’s an osteopath, and she was off to do a weekend dry needling course in New Zealand. I never ended up asking her how it had gone, because I’d taken it as some kind of nonsense.  Hearing about it from John, though, it sounds like it’s something that’s taken fairly seriously in the medical world.

I wonder if John will end up being treated with dry needling for his current knee problems. Not that I see him as a guinea pig for therapy techniques or anything, but I’d be interested to find out how effective it is. He’s probably had the most manual therapy out of anyone I know – shoulders, ankles, neck, feet, you name it. If it can wind up bent, broken or out of alignment, John has mangled it. At least he didn’t decide to go down the path of professional skateboarding.


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