Osteopathy and a Dancer’s Posture
The Importance of posture for a dancer
It is critical for dancers to have an adequate posture. When they do not, increased effort is required by the adjacent muscles and soft tissue and a series of compensations occur. As a result, the dancer’s movements are more difficult to execute, performance is affected and injuries are more likely to occur.
A study conducted in 2011 focused on the effect of osteopathic treatments on the posture of contemporary dancers. The study was carried out in collaboration with contemporary dance school LADMMI. In total, 34 students participated in the study. They were randomly divided into two groups and only the participants in one of the groups received osteopathic treatments. All of the participants had their posture assessed twice using the BioPrint posture software program. The posture-related information produced by the software program was used to compare any change in posture among the participants in both groups.
The posture-related data was analyzed and interpreted and the results showed a significant improvement in the alignment of certain body segments viewed from the frontal plane, including shoulders, pelvis, knees and feet, among only those participants who received osteopathic treatments. It was also observed that the posture of 33.33% of the participants who did not receive osteopathic treatments worsened significantly compared with 0% of the participants who received osteopathic treatments.
These results suggest that osteopathic treatments stabilized posture and/or slowed down any deterioration. Given the effect of osteopathic treatment on posture, an osteopath can contribute to preventing a dancer’s injuries and improving his or her overall balance.