💥 “But isn’t contortion/pole/circus BAD for your body?! That CAN’T be healthy!” 💥
I’ve been on the receiving end of this question more times than I can count (especially because I’m in healthcare!). I know a lot of you have, too, so I wanted to take a quick sec to talk about it 🤓
My standard response is some thing like this: YES, it can be! But so can every other sport: what about football (concussions and long term brain injury)? What about soccer (ACL tears and subsequent early knee arthritis)? What about martial arts (literally ALL the injuries)? 🤕
EVERY sport has risks involved. The key is that you’re aware of what risks are involved in your sport, and take the responsible measures to prevent them. In football, there has been a huge change in the way physios address concussion management, assessment, and return to play. In soccer, ACL injury prevention programs are now (almost) the norm in schools across the country. 💪
So what are the sport-specific risks in performing arts? We know that improving flexibility beyond normal limits can lead to injury, **if done improperly**. We know that a big gap in active and passive range of motion is part of the problem. We know that performing arts has no on/off season, so we must build periodization and recovery into our training plans. We know warming up is KEY in injury prevention. 💥
This concept has a few applications: as athletes, we must recognize the risks, and do what we can to manage them. As physios, we must remember that one of our core values is to KEEP PEOPLE ACTIVE- inactivity comes with severe health consequences, and if people want to BE active, we should do everything in our power to help keep them [safely] moving! 💃🏻 So, the next time someone asks you if contortion/pole/circus is BAD for you, you can say “Maybe, but so is every other sport. I’m aware of the risks for injury in XYZ, and I adjust my training to make sure that I’m doing everything i can to avoid problems in the future. Because you know what ELSE is really bad for you? Being a sedentary couch potato.” 😳
Then drop the mic 🎤, walk away, and go do your injury prevention program.