Health & Body

Ask Deb: What Can My Daughter Do for "Dancer's Knee?"

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My daughter is 11 and has "dancer's knee"—meaning there's inflammation under her kneecap. Do you have any suggestions for how to fix this?


Eleven years old is generally when adolescents begin to have growth spurts that can strongly influence the knees. Because bones grow faster than muscles, it's not unusual to have temporary muscular strain during a growth period.

Her first step to combat this should be to to figure out which weak muscles are contributing to the problem. Ask her when she feels discomfort or pain in her knees. Is it when she jumps? This could mean possible calf/quad weakness. Is it when she lands from jumps? This could mean possible pronation or soleus weakness. Is it when she goes down stairs? This could mean possible quad weakness and/or alignment challenges.

Going to physical therapy and strengthening these weak areas may help her knees feel better.

To your success,

Deborah Vogel

Director, The Body Series

Got a question for Deb? E-mail askdeb@dancemedia.com, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.

To work with Deb Vogel in person, check out her summer workshop, A Dance Teacher's Retreat to Tuscany!

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