This video on "How To Get A Correct Diagnosis" is the second in our series of videos designed to help you get the best possible treatment for any dance injury, to get you back into class, or back on stage as soon as possible!

If you have not seen the first video yet, please CLICK HERE to learn how to treat any new dance injury.

In the following video we discus important things to do or ask when you go to see a therapist to ensure that you get the most out of your session, and most importantly, to get a correct diagnosis.

There are often many possible reasons for having a certain pain. For instance, in our Patellofemoral Pain Injury Report we identified 13 different causes for pain in the front of the knee. It is very important that your therapist gives you a 'differential diagnosis'.  This means that they must do specific tests to tell the difference between all of the possible causes for your pain, rather than just assuming what is is due to its location. An accurate diagnosis is essential to tailor your treatment and rehab plan carefully, to get you back dancing as soon as possible.

Use the following points and questions to work with your therapist to get a clear plan in place for your rehab.

1. Trust Yourself

  • You are the one who is experiencing the injury so when you are given a diagnosis, make sure that their explanation matches what you are feeling
  • If it does not, ask more questions until it feels right

2. Make sure that the injury isn't actually something else

  • When you first go to see a Therapist or Doctor they will ask you a lot of questions to try to work out what is going on
  • They should then do a series of specific tests to determine what structures are injured so that they can work out the most appropriate treatment
  • Get them to write down exactly what they think your diagnosis is
  • Must be a "differential diagnosis" between all of the different conditions that can give pain in the same area
  • Ask them what it is NOT

3. Find out what structures are involved and how long the healing will take

  • Does your injury involve the bone, cartilage, tendon, muscle or a combination of several structures?
  • This will really help determine the most effective and efficient treatment and rehab plan.
  • Ask what the normal healing time-frame would be
  • Remember that this can be a very hard question to answer!

4. "How can I assist the healing?"

  • Therapists love this question!
  • Things that you can do may involve dietary changes, icing, contrast bathing or compressive bandages etc
  • May need to load the area to make sure that the fibres of the muscle or tendon align properly

5. "What am I allowed to do?"

  • Check with your therapist whether you are allowed to walk, swim, do each type of dance class, or climb stairs
  • It is very important to continue training the rest of your body
  • Just because you have injured one foot does not mean that you cant work the other one
  • Focus on maximising everything else during the healing period
  • Also get a list of what you must NOT do
  • i.e. You may need to tape your foot off your full pointe range when swimming to avoid compressing the back of the ankle if you have Posterior Impingement

6. "Do I need to get any X-rays or other scans done?"

  • This is often not needed - so do not worry if they say no!
  • We want to limit the amount of radiation that you are exposed to
  • However, scans can helpful if it is a very difficult, complicated injury, or one that is slow to heal
  • You must not rely solely on the scan reports to diagnose an injury

7. Try to find a therapist who knows a lot about dance!

  • Obviously it is helpful if you have a therapist who is used to treating dancers
  • Many people wont have access to a Dance Physio
  • In our next video we will go through lots of ways that you can help your therapist treat you better!


To organise a session with one of our experienced Physiotherapists, either in person or via Skype, please contact us at Perfect Form Physiotherapy or call us on +61 2 9922 7721


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