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Orthopedic injury treatment, prevention in the spotlight of new video series

By Jamie Lampros - Special to the Daily Herald | Dec 9, 2022

Dominic Valente, Daily Herald file photo

Young ballerinas from the Ballet West Academy rehearse before a show on Nov. 1, 2016 at the Cover Center For the Arts in Provo.

The National Institutes of Health reports back pain as one of the most common causes people seek emergency care.

In addition, 7 in 1,000 Americans will have an ankle sprain at some point in their lives.

Because orthopedic injuries are so common, Intermountain Healthcare and Ballet West have teamed up to create a new video series to help educate the public on prevention and treatment strategies for these types of problems.

Each month, a new video featuring a member of Ballet West and a sports medicine expert from Intermountain Healthcare will provide tips for staying healthy and recovering if you’ve experienced an injury. In classical ballet, for example, dancers can experience neck and shoulder pain from holding their arms in different positions, so stretching examples are shown in a video that can help anyone improve pain and tension in those areas.

In the first video, Tyler Gum, a first soloist with Ballet West, said the ankle is crucial to most movements he does, especially when jumping and turning. He said treating an ankle sprain right away is important if you want to get back to your favorite activities.

Dr. Claire Gross, who specializes in sports medicine for Intermountain Healthcare, said many people don’t think of an ankle sprain as a major injury.

“But sometimes symptoms from an ankle sprain can linger and make it difficult to get back to regular activities,” she said. “There are several ligaments to the ankle that connect to the bones and keep the ankle stable. Swelling and pain make it difficult to move the ankle.”

Gross said once swelling and pain start to improve, physical therapy can help a person regain their strength and range of motion. Treatment includes rest, ice and elevation of the foot.

In another video, Ballet West first soloist Chelsea Keefer said dancers experience some level of injury throughout their careers.

“It’s important to manage those so we can get back to what we love,” she said.

Betsy Johnson, an Intermountain Healthcare sports medicine expert, said the same technique dancers use after an immediate injury can be applied by anyone. That includes rest, ice, compression and elevation, represented by the mnemonic RICE.

“You can use a rest brace, boot or crutches to maximize rest,” she said. “You can also use a 10-minute ice bucket or a 20-minute ice bag every two to three hours.”

Another video will address poor posture, which can lead to decreased balance, tension headaches, muscle aches and more.

To watch the videos, go to balletwest.org.


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