Stripper Bodies: Common Pole Dance Injuries and What To Do About Them
by Dre Dee
No matter how carefully you warm up, or how much you stretch after you’re done with your pole dancing workout, you’re bound to injure yourself at some point while doing pole tricks. Although injury is inevitable, how you care for your injury can make all the difference in whether the injury heals or becomes an ongoing problem.
Here are some common issues strippers and pole dancers face when working the pole and how to care for them.*
1) Pulled Muscle (Muscle Strain)
Muscle strain is usually an acute injury (meaning the onset is sudden) and occurs when a muscle is torn. Strains are usually caused from stretching a muscle too far, but can also be caused by exerting the muscle too forcefully, such as lifting something too heavy or pulling too forcefully. In pole, commonly pulled muscles include muscles of the neck, upper back, and arms.
What it feels like: Pain from a muscle strain is usually present right after the injury occurs and is sharp. The severity of pain can range from mild to severe. In more severe strains, bruising and swelling can occur.
What to do:
– Rest the injured area for 1-5 days, depending on how badly the muscle was injured and pain level.
– Consider an anti-inflammatory to help reduce swelling and pain. Ibuprofen is a common anti-inflammatory and I’ve been told to take 600 mg in order to have an anti-inflammatory effect. Your dosage should be determined by your doctor as dosages can be different for different people. Generally, you should not take more than 2400 mg per day. Taking Ibuprofen with milk or food can avoid stomach issues that can occur.
– Avoid immobilizing the injury – gentle active range of motion and stretching with little to no pain is best. Be sure to move the injured area slowly and avoid movements that increase or cause pain.
2) Tendon or Ligament Strains
Tendon or ligament strains are generally more serious than muscle strains because ligaments and tendons take longer to heal. Tendons and ligaments connect muscle or bone to bone and have less blood flow to them than muscles do – this is why they take longer to heal. The length of time it takes for tendons or ligaments to heal obviously depends on how badly they were injured, where in the body they are located, and how much they are used during the healing process. Generally, it should take 4-6 weeks to heal if rested and stretched properly.
What to do:
The course of treatment for tendon or ligament strains can vary greatly. Generally, right after the injury RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation) is the best way to reduce initial inflammation. After inflammation subsides, alternating heat and cold, gentle stretching and active range of motion are best.
3) Wrist Pain
Wrist pain is very common in pole for obvious reasons, and is also a common symptom of floor work. To prevent wrist pain, remember to always warm up your wrists before doing any level of pole and stretch them afterwards. Also try to distribute your weight evenly when placing your hands flat on the stage.
What to do:
Follow the RICE protocol as long as pain and/or inflammation is present (Rest Ice Compression Elevation). Depending on what is injured, it may take a couple days to a few weeks for pain to completely go away. An elastic wrist support is a good way to provide compression and reduce inflammation, especially if you have to continue using the wrist. Be careful not to leave a wrist support on for too long though.
One type of wrist injury is nerve compression. There are three nerves in the wrist – the ulnar, median, and radial nerves.
Compression of the ulnar nerve is common in the bottom hand in bracket or split grips. Tingling or numbness are usually signs of a nerve compression or issue. The best thing to do is to avoid movements that are going to cause further compression, follow RICE protocol, and give the nerve enough time to heal before attempting further activity.
Performing gentle wrist stretches and active range of motion may also help. It is important to have ongoing or persistent pain in the wrist looked at by a doctor.
For All Injuries:
Remember to take it slow as you return to activities and work on strengthening and stretching the affected area gradually. Once fully healed, it is important to continue to strengthen and stretch the injured area to avoid future injuries.
Do you have an injury you have a question about? E-mail me.
Also, don’t forget to check the site later as I add more info!
*Disclaimer: Always consult your doctor before taking any medications or following this or any medical advice. A doctor is the only one qualified to diagnose your injury and decide on treatment.