THE BREAKER’S SPINE
In Breaking the spine is an injury-prone part of the body of a bboy and a bgirl. Many dancers suffer from herniated vertebral discs and other spine related injuries.
Here you learn about injury prevention, cause of injury and get some physiotherapeutic advices.
I) INJURY PREVENTION
HOW CAN I DANCE WITHOUT GETTING INJURED?
To prevent injuries of the spine it is important to have a proper warm up and to do some specific core training.
In the video THE BREAKER’S SPINE you can see some exercises to prevent cervical and lumbar spine injuries.
Check out the video and you are going to learn:
- How to strengthen the deep muscles of your thorax that gives you stability
- How to do push ups safely and effectively
- How to assemble a proper workout for your body centre
- How to strengthen and stretch your neck muscles
II) CAUSE OF INJURY
WHY DO I GET INJURED SO OFTEN?
There are different causes of spine injuries.
We’ve got lots of injuries in the lower back due to the rotation we do while moving. We get a high impact onto our spine while doing powermoves with rotations such as swipes, halos and head spins. Also while doing freezes we put a lot of weight onto our spine such as head freezes, chair freezes, shoulder freezes or baby freezes. We really have to prepare our body to the movements we are going to do.
We often injure the cervical spine due to weight bearing positions on the head like head spin, head freeze or halos.
III) PHYSIOTHERAPEUTIC ADVICE
You need to strengthen the centre of your body. This is called core. At least twice a week do some exercises of core or Pilates training.
We have some superficial and deep muscles. The task of the superficial muscles is to move our body. The task of the little deep muscles is to stabilise and centralise before the big muscle can move the joints. They are also called segmental stabilisers because they are placed only over one segment, very close to the joint. If our deep muscles are weak, the bigger superficial muscles have to take over their job. But they are not made to do that. So they get tensed up. As a result we really have to work on the deep muscles.
One important deep muscle is the transversus abdominis muscle. This muscle, together with the deep back muscles, is important for stabilisation. You notice the muscle if you put your fingers a little bit inside and downwards of your backbone and cough.
The difference of the superficial abdominis muscle, which is responsible for the famous “6-pack”, and the deep transversus abdomini muscle is: When you put your hand on your belly and contract the 6-pack muscle, your fingers are pushed away when the muscle contracts. When you contract the transversus muscle the muscle is swelling and your finger stay on the same height; you can feel that something is getting harder under your fingers.
My advice as a physiotherapist is to warm up properly before doing things on your head and to cool down after the training. For a cool down you can do some stretching. If you notice that you have some teared up muscles, go and take a warm shower, letting the water run over your muscles.
Besides warming up properly, it is really important that you straighten the ventral muscles: they are called flexors of the cervical spine. If you do some specific strengthening you won’t get injured so quickly while putting a lot of weight onto your head.