Dancing shouldn’t cause severe pain if you’re using proper alignment & technique, but soreness is normal.
Muscle soreness is part of the process of breaking down and rebuilding muscle fibers.
Hydrate | Electrolytes
Hydration is important before and throughout a class or workout to prevent muscle cramps and decrease inflammation. If you sweat a lot while you dance, or you feel weaker or more tired than normal you may want to drink an electrolyte drink to help replenish electrolytes & energy lost during your class or workout. Electrolytes are minerals that help maintain alkaline pH and hydration. Adequate levels of magnesium, potassium and calcium in the blood are necessary to address muscle cramping, soreness, charley horses, and nerve pain.
Ice | Heat
Research has proven cold & hot temperatures assist in recovery. You can put an ice pack on sore areas or get in a cold bath for up to 15 minutes, but if a hot bath is more relaxing for you that’s good too! (I highly recommend adding some epsom salt & lavender oil to your bath for ultimate relaxation). Muscle tightness is a cause of increased pain for many people, and stimulating the blood flow and loosening up sore muscles with heat can help speed up the muscle healing process.
Make sure you’re always giving yourself at least 1 day off from being active to recover and relieve your muscles. Have a quick break in between rehearsals? Sit down, eat a snack, then lie down and put your legs up on the wall. Even brief periods of rest make a huge difference in recovering on a daily basis. Also, make sure you’re always trying to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
Food can help your muscles too! Try having some pineapple or cherries.
Bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, has anti-inflammatory benefits comparable to those of anti-inflammatory medications. Recent studies have also proven the significant benefits of the anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice as well.
Recently I have been seeing a lot of dancers trying some different methods of recovery on Instagram, from Cryotherapy to Compression Boots. These are other methods to consider trying if you’re interested in relieving your muscles quickly.
Here are some of the methods:
• Red Light Therapy
• Professional Massage
•Self Massage + Foam Rolling