The art of pole dancing has been in existence for well over 100 years and its roots can be traced back to entertainment. In fact, many people relate pole dancing to the exploitative adult entertainment industry of stripping but in the world we live in today, this is not all that it is known for.
Pole dancing is an art form that has evolved tremendously over the recent years and it is probably why its popularity has also grown. People all over the world are taking up pole dancing as a hobby as well as sport. Apart from the strength that the human body develops gradually from pole dancing, it is also a fun activity, which means that it also aides in production of dopamine – the feel-good hormone – and this promotes psychological wellness.
While pole dancing can be fun, it has been known to take a toll on the body just as any intense sporting activity would. Some parts of the body experience a significant amount of stress and if left unchecked, could lead to long-term injuries. Joints and large muscles often bear the brunt due to the amount of strain that they experience.
The most common injuries include but are not limited to fractures caused by falls, wrist sprains, rotator cuff tears (shoulder), hamstring strains and a myriad of knee injuries, most of which we will cover in this article. Some of these injuries can be mitigated by placing a protective mat at the bottom of the pole. We will also cover preventative measures that you can take in order to avoid getting any of these injuries on your knees.
How knee pads protect you when pole dancing
During most pole dancing routines, your knees are subjected to lots of non-linear movements while supporting your entire body weight. Other routines may require you to kneel and slide across a surface on your knees. While this may not sound too demanding, once done over an extended period, the effects begin to add up.
Kneepads protect your knees from injuries that would have otherwise been sustained as a result of banging your knee against the pole/floor or sliding across a surface. The gel kneepads are designed in such a way that they diffuse the impact that would have been borne directly by your knees.
Common knee injuries associated with pole dancing
The thigh bone and shin bone are connected by a thick cartilage that plays the role of absorbing any shock that comes to your knee. When you undertake an activity that causes you to forcefully twist your knee while under pressure, you may end up with a meniscus tear. The effects of a meniscus tear include intense pain, inflammation and stiffness in the knee.
Medial Collateral Ligament Tear (MCL)
The medial collateral ligament is one of the four ligaments that are responsible for maintaining mechanical stability of the knee. As the name suggests, an MCL tear happens when the ligament on the inside of the knee is either torn (fully or partially) or stretched beyond comfort. The most commonly felt effects include pain, instability and a limited range of motion.
Patella Tendonitis (Jumper’s Knee)
This is a condition that is characterized by inflammation of the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shin bone. It is often caused by repeatedly jumping and landing on hard surfaces.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears (ACL)
The ACL is another one of the four ligaments that are responsible for providing knee stability. Tearing or spraining of this ligament occurs when there is a sudden change in direction or pivoting. When it occurs, you will most likely hear a pop followed by pain and swelling of the knee. Sometimes surgery and physiotherapy will be required to correct these injuries.
How to prevent knee injury and pain
- Wear kneepads to protect your knees from stress. Check out https://queenpolewear.com/product-category/knee-pads/ to select the kneepads that suit your body type and occasion.
- Warming up and cooling down before and after routines goes a long way to ensure that your muscles and ligaments transition safely between rest and intense work.
- Stretching effectively before and after performing pole dancing.
- Maintaining good form also makes sure that the load on your joints and muscles is evenly distributed to avoid injury.