The Root of Dance Injuries

Did you know that among Dr. Lee’s many accomplishments, including being able to remember AC/DC lyrics till this day and besides being a Harford County Chiropractor extraordinaire; he is a member of the International Association for Dance Medicine and Sciences and will soon become a NYU Medical School recognized dance injury specialist? Like they say, if you can’t do it, might as well treat the ones who can when they get injured. Or something like that.

The root of all dance injuries is Energy Intake.  This is not exclusive to dancers. Gymnasts and all female athletes would qualify.  Female athletes do not consume enough calories.  The average adolescent female dancer/athlete needs 2500 calories per day. However, most female athletes will actually only consume 60-80% of that, and dancers/gymnasts another 15% less. Why? Dancers and gymnasts usually have a fear of weight and how it looks and affects their performance.  All athletes it’s because of lack of education.

The body considers dance and athletic performance to be discretionary calories. Not only do the girls not eat enough, they usually don’t eat the right stuff. The body uses all the consumed calories to fuel physical and pubescent growth first. Fueling for Dance and other athletic activity comes second.  Imagine this: you have 3, 1-gallon buckets and only a 2 gallon pitcher. You can’t fill them all. From here a downward spiral ensues with puberty, growth and athleticism all draining from each other, not only robbing the athlete of her ability and potential, but making her more and more disposed to injury.

What should the girls be eating? Not the 5 C’s of the single girl diet (Coffee, Cigarettes, Chocolate, diet Coke and Cheese).  There is a popular myth that salads are healthy.  While they are a better choice than a big Mac, a ”salad “is not always the healthy choice.  Iceberg lettuce with ranch is about as healthy as notebook paper with fatty wax. A salad made from leafy greens, spinach, other veggies, and a protein, with little or no dressing is a great choice.  Protein tends to be the most deficient in the female athlete and should be the number one priority when choosing foods.  Protein runs dual purpose, fuel and structure. Bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments are all made from protein. A person can eat enough protein to fuel the body, but not enough to fuel and build. So we need plenty.

Your 30 second nutrition tip:  My #1 recommendation is eggs; especially cage-free, high Omega 3 eggs. Egg whites are a near perfect protein and the yolks are high in anti-inflammatory and calorie dense Omega fatty acids. Other good sources of protein are wild-caught fish and seafood, free-grazed meats and if not available leaner-cuts of store bought meats. Luncheon meats don’t count! Neither do fish sticks. Cheese is a condiment, not an entrée. Yogurt is in a grey area. Depends on the source, the production, and what they add to make it taste good. There are many good sources of calories that come with built-in vitamins called fruits and vegetables. French fries are not veggies, ketchup is not fruit. Real nutrition is a 45 minute Power Point presentation. For real, I’ve got one, I’ve presented it.

Real Life: Many of you know I have three teen/pre-teen dancers.  We have a very strict you don’t eat you don’t dance policy in our house.  So I understand how hard it is to feed them.  We are very organized when we shop and when we plan our pre- and post-dance meals.  Tip:  Our girls eat a small protein filled dinner prior to practice (right afterschool) and again after practice each day.

Even with nutrition and training, injuries happen. That’s why local athletes and dancers turn to us for spine and rehab care. We are the top chiropractor, massage clinic, acupuncture clinic, physical therapy clinic in Bel Air, Churchville, Abingdon, Edgewood and beyond in Harford County.



I have been having severe pain since 2014. I’ve had a full battery of x-rays/MRI done to diagnose my condition [as] severe arthritis. After I was prescribed an injection that I was told would take care of everything, the pain was back, worse than before. Dr. Lee reviewed my x-rays and MRI and set up a treatment plan... After the 1st visit my pain has decreased. I can already feel a big difference.

Before coming to Dr. Lee, my ankle pain would wake me up during the night because of its severity. Dr. Lee has helped alleviate the pain in my ankle. By performing specific exercises twice per week, the pain is non-existent!

I have been a patient of Dr.Lee's for about 10 months now. As a 22 year old, I have been suffering from back pain since I was about 13 years old. The pain increased a few years ago and despite physical therapy performed at other facilities, and pain medications from the doctor I was unable to control the level of discomfort. I found Dr. Lee and have been extremely happy with my results.

I came to Dr. Lee with several aches and pains. I was nervous about receiving chiropractic treatment but Dr. Lee eased my concerns by thoroughly making sure that I was a safe candidate for adjustments... After regular adjustments and Physical Therapy, my knee pain is gone, my elbow pain is gone, my ankle and wrist are improving AND I’m reducing the migraines I used to get too!

I began seeing Dr. Lee after noticing severe tenderness and pain in my left hip region... I was lucky to find Dr. Lee when I did, not only did he help me discover that the pain in my hip was actually related to a mass growing uncontrollably but he also gave me the comfort I’d been searching for with chiropractic. I’d recommend Dr. Lee to anyone who wants to be pain-free!

I have had lower back problems for about 35 years. As I aged, they were getting worse. I also noticed I was over weight. I came to Susquehanna Spine & Rehab because Dr. Lee could address both issues as part of a unified plan. The diet regimen, chiropractic, and personalized exercises worked!

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had pain in my neck and shoulders... Now that I’m an adult, my pain continues, but Dr. Lee is helping me a lot. I have an appointment twice a week, and I can definitely tell a difference. I use pain management along with the tens unit and physical therapy. All three of these services are working great and I’m definitely feeling better.

I have had back problems for years. I have been to other chiropractors I have even gone to medical doctors no one has been able to make it feel any better. Then I found Dr. Lee I have finally found relief. I am feeling so much better after starting care at Susquehanna Spine & Rehab.

I began seeing Dr. Lee because of a shooting pain I developed in my left heel... After a brief examination, Dr. Lee explained to me that my pain was being caused by Plantar Fasciitis... Shortly after Dr. Lee began treating my heel, I noticed that I was experiencing less and less discomfort. In a few short weeks, I was able to continue my exercise routine and enjoy my daily activities pain-free!

When I came to Susquehanna Spine & Rehab I was very skeptical. After only 2 weeks at Susquehanna Spine and Rehab the severe pain in my neck, shoulder and arm had greatly improved … NO MORE PAIN! I can now sleep through the night without waking up in pain! THANK YOU SUSQUEHANNA SPINE & REHAB!!!

My daughter started falling up the stairs at school and having severe knee pain for no apparent reason... Dr. Lee did a thorough exam and walked us through his entire treatment plan. Every appointment was made at a time convenient to my schedule. Heather has made wonderful progress and is now pain-free. Dr. Lee was always available for questions and kept me well informed of her progress.