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Refined Muscle Recruitment and Self-Fascia Release: A Study on the Effects of a New Protocol for Dancers



Refined Muscle Recruitment and Self-Fascia Release: A Study on the Effects of a New Protocol for Dance Training and Injury Prevention


Michelle Blackwell

Master of Fine Arts in Dane

University of California, Irvine, 2016

Dr. Kelli Sharp, Chair

High injury incidence is an epidemic among the dance population. Dance science literature targets chronic pain and dynamic balance deficits as key dance-injury etiologies. An intervention protocol copulated by the lead researcher aimed to address these etiologies utilizing two components: 1. self-myofascial release (SMR) utilizing foam rollers and soft balls and 2. exercises designed to economize dance-specific movement. Larger implications embedded in this research warrant practical solutions to the dance injury epidemic, suggesting injury prevention techniques as a means in performance enhancement.

Changes in dynamic balance and subjects’ pain experience in dance class were assessed in a 5-week intervention; collegiate dancers met for 55 minutes, twice a week and partook in a pre-and post-test series. Balance was was measured using the Star Excursion Balance Test, pPain experience was was measured using the VAS Numeric Pain Scale. Intervention protocol designed by the lead researcher consisted of two components: exercises aimed to refine dance-specific muscle recruitment, and self-myofascial release (SMR) techniques. utilizing foam rollers and soft balls. Sample size for the intervention was Nnine (9) subjects, eight (8) females and one (1) male enrolled in the study. . Subjects met for 55 minutes, twice a week for five weeks. to participate in the intervention protocol. Statistical analysis using Rrepeated measures T-test in statistical analysis revealed a post-test decrease in bilateral leg-reach asymmetry. No changes were observed in SEBT leg-reach distances or experiences of pain. Asymmetry decreases on the SEBT test suggest intervention efficacy for injury prevention—unilateral dominance is clinically evaluative for the identification of individuals at-risk of injury. No effect can be stated on intervention efficacy to increase postural control or decrease pain. No significance was observed statistically in leg reach distance or pain scores. Lead researcher suggests further studies with larger sample sizes and stricter controls to further assess intervention effect on pain and dynamic balanceto assess the effects of the muscle recruitment and SMR intervention protocol.

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