For Teachers

5 Pain Relieving Conditioning Tools For Dance Teachers

10:17 AM

When it comes to bodies falling apart, dance teachers take the cake. Unlike coaches of other sports, dance teachers continue to demonstrate and execute the steps and movements they teach throughout their teaching and coaching career, often on a daily basis.

Some of the side effects of dancing at this level for so long, with so much repetitive movement, is injury, tightness, muscle cramping, bulged/degenerative disks, and arthritis. Here are some excellent products to help you get through the rough parts and recondition yourself to extend your dance longevity!

Thanks for visiting! Just so you know, my blog contains affiliate links, which generate commission for me off your purchase. All reviews are 100% my own opinion. Any item featured may have been received free in exchange for promotion or review, but does not in any way affect my review.

1. If you don't have a T.E.N.S. Unit, you need one. Now.

One of my friends told me about this thing, and it sounded really scary - an electronic device with shock pads that send electric shocks through your body all day? No thanks. But I got a chance to try a free one for review, and I figured if I hated it, I'd just throw it away.

I still have it, almost 3 years later! This thing is awesome.

I've used a few different ones now and I've figured out that the best T.E.N.S units have the following features:

  • A belt clip, or small enough to fit in a phone armband or pocket
  • More than 2 pads (4 or 6 is best!) 
  • Something covering the controls and buttons (so no touch screens or uncovered dials) - trust me this one is important. You're doing a cambré forward and all of a sudden your T.E.N.S. went from 3 to 15. *whole body spasms* 
Here is the one that I used, plus a few others that have excellent reviews on Amazon.

How do you use it? 

Position the pads around the source of the pain, rather than right on top. For instance, in my case, my pain was under my scapula, so I put 2 pads under the scapula, and one on either side of the knot. This was more effective than putting pads directly on top of the knot. 

You can wash and re-use the pads (carefully) with lukewarm water and soap, and they'll last several uses. They're not expensive to replace either! Mine are $16.99 for 44 pads.

2. Foam Rollers, Massage sticks, and Peanut rollers

Foam rollers are pretty self-explanatory - They're made of foam, and you roll on them. There is definitely a correct way to use them, as we talked about in the online conference last year! Foam rolling is all about engaging and releasing the muscle while applying pressure to the central part, and the insertion point. It helps get the blood flowing in the muscle so you can warm it up and stretch it out more effectively. It doesn't actually stretch you out - it just helps release knots by increasing blood flow. 

Here is a great video on how to effectively use a foam roller, and another video on some important safety things to remember.

And here are a few of my favorites! 

This green one is great because it has a hard part on the outside with trigger points and a softer smaller roller inside. 

Get it here
This one is a little softer and is great for when you need to go a little more gentle on the rolling. Also great for beginners!

From Pro Source - get it here

Massage sticks are similar to foam rollers, but you use them by holding the stick against your body and pressing as you roll, rather than rolling your whole body on the device.  Here's a great one with a poster to go with it, great for your dressing room or studio.

Get it on Amazon
Peanut massage balls are great for specific places, like the sides of the shin, the back of the neck, and the base of the spine near the pelvis. It's basically two balls with a bridge in the middle, and they are amazing. 

This one has trigger points, and it vibrates! 
 3. Hot and Cold compact.

Sometimes the answer really is to ice or heat treat! It makes a huge difference. Here's a great one that I'm dying to try. It's a heat or cold pack, and can be put on any part of your body.

Get it here
Extra large heat/cold pack from Etsy.

4. Salts, Lotions, and Creams

Here is a roundup of some of my favorite soaking salts, lotions, and pain creams.

Pain A Trate is more effective than any other pain relief cream! Plus you can mix it with Blue Heat Essential Oils for added relief. Shoot me an email if you'd like some info on how to get it!
Muscle Balm from Dancing Maya Co

5. Conditioning and PT

Every dancer should condition and see a PT at least once a month, if possible. Physical Therapists specifically for dance are a bit harder to come by, but anywhere there is a dance company, there's probably a dance PT. Some even do online consultations!

When it comes to conditioning, there are lots of great things you can do. Swimming, TRX, Pilates, and yoga are just some of the ones that dancers prefer. Check out this Pinterest board with great conditioning ideas for dancers!

Even if you only visit a few times a year, it's amazing how much they can help!

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