Hello Dear Danglers! You’ve been there, I’ve been there. You’re training, or walking past the really sharp coffee table, or knitting at unsafe speeds, and BAM! Injury happens. Whether it’s a bruise, break, or chronic condition, injuries are awful. Aside from the pain and inconvenience of the actual ouchie, the mental and emotional toll can be considerable (light burns and bruises excepted – suck it up). What’s a dangler to do? Let’s chat.
At the First Sign of Pain
STOP. Do you hear me? STOP. Wait, breathe. Assess. Pain is your body’s alarm system, and shouldn’t be ignored. In fact, how you handle that injury in the first hour can make a HUGE difference in how quickly you can get back in the air. Circus hurts, no doubt about it! But there’s a big difference between the “pinchy” pain of training, and the “I’m severing an artery” pain of injury. If it’s the latter, you should:
- If the injury is severe, emergency medical protocol should be observed. Remember – NEVER TRAIN ALONE.
- If you have a visible wound (a burn or open cut, for example), get thee to the first aid station and take care of it pronto. Don’t get that sh*t on my fabric. 😉
- No external wound? Not an emergency? Breathe, wait. Let your body “settle”.
- Assess your pain. Has it disappeared? Grown worse? Stayed about the same?
- If your pain has disappeared and you decide to continue with your training, baby that area for the rest of your session. Remember – you don’t get points for making it worse. Only hurting during a certain move? Repeat after me: “I’m going to skip that one today.”
- Grown worse or stayed the same? Re-assess – do you need medical attention? Regardless, no more training today for you! First aid, ya’ll. Commit this to memory, it can speed your healing. RICE:
- Rest – yes, YOU.
- Ice – repeat after me: NEVER HEAT A FRESH INJURY!!!! Ice ice, baby.
- Compress – grab an ACE bandage and gently compress, careful not to cut off your circulation.
- Elevate – prop that baby up!
Many doctors also recommend a standard dose of an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory (ex: ibuprofin) soon after the injury to reduce inflammation.
Got an instructor who pushes you into pain? Disregards your experience of pain? Shames you when you get hurt? That is not ok. Remember – it’s YOUR body. If it breaks, they don’t have to live in it. Part of any physical endeavor is learning to OWN your body, and set limits for yourself and others. Protect that beautiful bod!
When a Diagnosis is in Order
Is it an “injury”, not just an ouchie? Getting worse instead of better? Very painful? You can certainly ask your instructor for their input, but don’t mistake them for a medical professional. Here’s a great blog post (brought to my attention by the lovely and talented Sabrina McNeal) about exactly that. You turn to the pros to teach you to soar through the air, you’ll want to consider doing the same when it comes to your diagnosis & treatment. Dance Instructors and Injury Management: Leave it to the Pros
Have a lovely, safe, and injury free week, my lovlies! I’ll see you in the air! Love and pull-ups, Laura
For next week: Ow Ow OW! Working Around an Injury, Part 2
The week after: Ow Ow OW! Working Around a Chronic Condition, Part 3
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