Specialized Treatment for Dance

As an extension of our clinic’s focus in sports medicine, SCCWC is proud to offer specialized treatment at the Portland Dance Medicine Institute™ (PDMI) for dancers of all ages and styles of performance. We often hear the debate regarding the world of dance: Is it a sport or an art form? As far as we are concerned, the two are mutually inclusive and every dancer is treated as an athlete and an artist. In order to produce the best art, you have to be in the best athletic condition. Misty Copeland demonstrated that in her commercial for Under Armour:

Dancers demand a lot from their bodies, and frequently struggle with injuries to the knees, hips, and ankles. The amount of repeated jumping, landing, and turning places a high degree of strain on these structures, and they require stabilization and strength to perform. Additionally, injuries to these areas necessitate proper rehabilitation to prevent future injuries. Injuries to the spine are also common as a result of the posture required of dancers, as well as the loads placed on the lower back in lifting one’s partner. Choreography can take a toll on the neck and upper body as well, with injuries ranging from neck pain to shoulder and rotator cuff injuries.

At PDMI, we take dance medicine as seriously as our patients take their performances. Dr. Seth Alley has over seven years of history working in the field of dance medicine. He currently serves as the chiropractor and sports medicine specialist for Oregon Ballet Theater, The Portland Ballet, and the NW Dance Project. He has done specialized training with the Harkness Center for Dance Injuries at the NYU Langone Medical Center. Dr. Alley has an extensive background working with all levels of dance performance as well as all types of dancers, and has treated members of other various national and international ballet and dance companies through his career.

Dr. Alley approaches dance medicine not only by evaluating the dancer’s injury, but also through mechanical assessment of choreography, environment, and the dancer’s general health. Treatment may then involve manual medicine, rehabilitation, or physical therapy to address the injury and prevent future problems. If necessary, Dr. Alley also routinely refers to other medical professionals in orthopedics and podiatry that have similar understandings of dance medicine and can offer treatment in their specializations. Dr. Alley and the treatment team at PDMI work in partnership with the dancer to achieve improvement, allow for return to performance, and ensure performance into the future.