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How Ballet West dancers and Intermountain Orthopedic experts can help you avoid everyday injuries

How Ballet West dancers and Intermountain Orthopedic experts can help you avoid everyday injuries

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As the curtain rises again on the annual holiday tradition of Ballet West's The Nutcracker, there is a new innovative video series designed to help educate Utahns about orthopedic and dance injuries and how people can avoid everyday injuries.

The new video demonstrates the athletic work that dancers undergo to stay healthy – with the help of Intermountain Healthcare sports medicine experts, who provide medical support for dancers.

The video series features Ballet West dancers training and demonstrating common injuries that may occur during everyday activity. The dancers and Intermountain sports medicine experts provide tips so that people can see how injuries are treated and learn optimal methods to recover safely.

The series features Ballet West dancers training and demonstrating common injuries that may occur. The dancers and Intermountain sports medicine experts give tips so that people can see how injuries are treated and learn methods to recover safely.

A few of the common injuries addressed through the video series are:

Back injuries. Intermountain caregivers teach key strategies for reducing the risk of back injuries. Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help or miss work. Back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide.

Shoulder and neck soreness. In classical ballet, dancers can develop shoulder and neck soreness from holding their arms in first through fifth positions repetitively, so stretches are shown in the video series to improve shoulder blade position to help alleviate neck tension.

Tension headaches, muscle aches and pains, decreased balance, and neck and back pain. In another video, Ballet West dancers share techniques for addressing the common issue that poor posture affect dancers and non-dancers.

"These are athletes of the highest caliber," said Ted Hugunin, director of Intermountain Healthcare Sports Performance. "It is an honor to be able to help provide medical rehabilitation and assist them back to the studio and onto the stage."

For example, correct lifting technique is vital in ballet, as well as daily life. In the video series, Intermountain caregivers teach key strategies for reducing the risk of back injuries.

In classical ballet, dancers can develop shoulder and neck soreness from holding their arms in first through fifth positions repetitively, so stretches are shown in the video series to improve shoulder blade position to help alleviate neck tension.

Poor posture also affects dancers and non-dancers, which can lead to tension headaches, muscle aches and pains, decreased balance, and neck and back pain. In another video, Ballet West dancers share techniques for addressing this common issue.

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people seek medical help or miss work. Back pain is a leading cause of disability worldwide.

Fortunately, measures can help prevent or relieve most back pain episodes, especially for people younger than age 60. If prevention fails, simple home treatment and using the body correctly often will heal the back within a few weeks. Surgery is rarely needed to treat back pain.

The videos will be released every month and will be shown on Ballet West's and Intermountain's social media channels. The videos can all be viewed at the following link.

Intermountain sports medicine experts provide medical support for Ballet West dancers throughout the entire season as they train rigorously on a daily and weekly basis.

Intermountain's experts from TOSH–The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital are on site for Ballet West dancers in the studio with a variety of services from physical therapists, athletic trainers, primary care providers, dietitians, biomechanics specialists, and sports psychologists.

Intermountain also recently announced a similar partnership with the NFL's Las Vegas Raiderettes.

Willam Christensen's production of "The Nutcracker" (Dec. 2-24) is back for the holidays, followed by the beloved fairy tale "The Sleeping Beauty"—featuring spectacular brand-new sets designed by acclaimed French artist Alain Vaes, thanks to a generous contribution from John and Andrea Miller and grant from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

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