Bone Bruise

Last week during an over enthusiastic assemblé I managed to slip, flip into the air, and fall on my back. My doctor said I bruised a bone; my sacroiliac joint. It has been nearly 2 weeks, and I have been resting it. However, it still hurts to développé do the left side, left passe, and land on the left side (it’s my left sacroiliac joint). I am supposed to start intense ballet classes next week. What should I do? Will dancing with the bone bruise make it worse, even though nothing is touching it? Is it ok to dance through this pain? Is the pain that I experience during passe due to damaged ligaments or something? I am really nervous about this.

Thanks, Miriam

Ouch! Bone bruises can take a long time to heal. You were right to make sure there was no fracture in the area – and then I’m imagining the doctor told you to ice the area to help decrease inflammation. With bone bruises you won’t see a lot of visible swelling, but rest assured, it’s there – so icing can help.

My concern is that you fell on the sacroiliac area so you may have created a small torque at that joint which isn’t helping your rehabilitation. Remember there is a small amount of movement that is possible at the sacroiliac joint, and it’s possible that landing so heavily on one side could have created a small shift.

Do you notice a difference in your discomfort between standing in parallel and doing a passé and doing it in turnout? If standing in parallel is better than in turnout you may have strained the deep external rotators – which are the turnout muscles)

Gentle stretching is the key.

Try sitting on a chair and cross your left ankle over your right thigh. Lace your hands underneath your left knee and gently press your left knee into your hands. This turns on the deep gluteal muscles. Now keep a gentle pressure down into your hands as you slightly tilt forward with a straight back. Think of the sits bones reaching back into space. You’ll feel a stretch somewhere in the left buttock area. If it is too strong – don’t tilt forward so much. You are in control of how much effort and how much pull – and it should be comfortable, not painful.

After doing this 1 – 3 times on each side – stand back up and try first position passé. Is there a difference? Any easier?

After a fall like you took you need to be aware and watchful for muscular imbalances and possible strains as after all – it wasn’t just the pelvis that took the hit. You have lots of muscles in that area that also were impacted and that is where I would have you focus your attention. The hip flexors might also be involved, and doing extra stretches may be useful.

As always…. listening to your body’s messages is key. If doing a specific movement increases your discomfort pull back. Think about what is different about that movement from movements that don’t hurt. Then you can begin to investigate more specifically what muscle area you need to attend to. It is often hard to figure out what is muscle and what might be ligament in an area such as the sacroiliac joint, but with gentle exploration you can begin to tease out more specifics as to what makes it worse and what makes it better. If you don’t feel that you are making a fast enough recovery I would encourage you to see a good physical therapist to check out the range of motion of both hips and the muscular balance around the pelvis.

Sending you positive intentions for a speedy recovery!



“Education is the key to injury prevention”

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