The NHS Dance Injury clinic at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in London was started in 2012 by Dr Roger Wolman and, from 2014, has been supported by a dance-specialist physiotherapist, Caroline Jubb. We also have trainee Sports and Exercise Medicine doctors working in the clinic. Since starting in 2012 we have now treated well over 1000 injured dancers, which has given us a unique experience in the understanding of these injuries and how best to treat them. We have treated many different dance genres which has given us a better appreciation of the physiological and biomechanical demands of these dance forms, which has led to more bespoke treatment and, hopefully, better outcomes. We have a better awareness of the demands placed on student dancers, how this influences their risk of injury and recovery, and where possible we have worked in collaboration with dance school’s healthcare teams to optimise the student’s treatment programme. We have treated many professional dancers working in West End shows, smaller venues, on cruise ships and from touring companies. We therefore understand the range of work that a professional dancer can be exposed to and how we can work around these demands.
Dance teachers are the other professional group that we treat in the clinic. They teach a large range of dance genres, lie within a large age range (aged 25 - 85) and use a variety of teaching techniques, therefore we have learnt how to adapt their treatment depending on these variables. We also dancers at the extremes of the age range, this includes young dancers (aged 8-15) just starting to develop an interest in becoming a professional dancer and, at the other end of the age range, ex-dancers, usually over the age of 50, living with some of the long term musculoskeletal effects of a career in dance. Our clinic provides access to the latest imaging and scanning techniques, treatment with expert physiotherapists and, when necessary, input from surgeons with specialist expertise in the treatment of dancers.
Our ongoing success allows us to run weekly clinics with a short waiting time (1 – 4 weeks) and we are happy to see anyone with a musculoskeletal problem related to dancing. To attend the NHS Dance Injury clinic you will require a referral letter from your GP and during your first appointment you will have a thorough medical assessment from either a doctor or the dance-specialist physiotherapist. During this initial appointment you may be asked to complete a couple of questionnaires and you may have some investigations done on the same day. Treatment will begin on the same day but the full treatment programme may take longer depending on the results of further investigations we may organise. Treatment will usually involve advice and physiotherapy but occasionally injection treatment is recommended and surgery is rarely required (only about 5% of the dancers attending the clinic require surgery).
For further details about how to access any of the NHS Dance Injury clinics visit: https://www.nidms.co.uk/nhs-dance-injury-clinics or for questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7713 0730