Concussions during theater? Yes, that’s right. They’re a huge problem that happen, for the most part, “off the grid.” In other words, they are not publicized, nor are they cared for properly most of the time.
As an athletic trainer, my education and licensing includes evaluating and caring for those who suffer concussions. Back in 2002, I chose to change my career direction and apply my skills to performing artists instead of traditional athletes. They have an enormous need for proper, specialized healthcare for concussions and every other injury they encounter. Today I lead a performing arts medicine program at Ohio University that I designed to meet the healthcare needs of the university’s performing arts students. But, I want to focus on theater here.
I have a friend, Merry Lynn, who is a dance professor. She is a beautiful dancer and an extremely talented dance educator and researcher. She also is the inventor of a fascinating device called the Rolling Dance Chair. Her project has an incredible personal back story that came from tragedy in her family when she was a young girl. However, I want to focus here on how Merry Lynn’s passion for overcoming limitations can help you overcome limitations, too.
Bone health is incredibly important for everyone. But, this is especially true for performing and production artists. Poor bone structure can lead to stress fractures, osteoporosis, and other bone conditions. These are not just problems for your grandmother! Almost everyone can be at risk for poor bone health.
Several factors put performers generally at higher risk of skeletal problems, and dancers most of all. The high percentage of females in dance and their frequent focus on body image brings other challenges. These include the related issues of low energy availability from a restricted diet, low body weight, and menstrual irregularities, all of which are inter-related and contribute to lowered bone density…
Hi, my name is Jeff Russell. I’m a healthcare professional to performing artists and a professor. One of the most incredible blessings of my life is to teach young people and watch their eyes light up when they “get it.” Many of those I teach are performing artists learning about anatomy, fitness, nutrition, injuries, and other performing arts health topics. But, every time I am with performers I realize that they generally don’t possess a lot of good health information.
The problem isn’t access…we have way more information in our world than we know what to do with. So, the problem must be getting the correct information to these artists, delivered by someone who actually cares about them and will invest in them. Ah yes…that’s why I developed Artisanus…