An NHS rehabilitation clinic which specialises in treating dance injuries has opened in London, BBC News is reporting.
According to the news site, the dance injury clinic is the first of its kind in the UK and is part of a new organisation; the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science.
If the London-based facility proves to be a success, there are hopes that more could be opened up across the UK, in cities such as Birmingham.
Not only will the clinic provide vital injury rehabilitation services specifically for dancers, it will also carry out research into dance injuries and the possible options for treatment and prevention.
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According to the UK’s professional dance organisation, Dance UK, every year approximately 80 percent of dancers sustain some sort of injury.
BBC Newsreports that those who are a part of a dance company might have access to private healthcare and injury rehabilitation services, but others have to rely on NHS services, which, until now, have been limited.
The clinic is being supported by a number of professional dancers, particularly those who have suffered a career-ending injury.
They believe the NHS facility will be immensely popular with dancers, especially with freelance dancers, as suggested by the BBC.
The dance injury clinic will be based at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London.
One of the specialists in charge of running the clinic is Dr Roger Wolman, who told BBC News there are some injuries that are almost unique to dancers.
“You don't see them elsewhere - in that situation a specialist clinic will be able to pick those injuries up very, very quickly and get them the right treatment,” he said.
It is hoped the new service will bring the treatment of dance injuries in the UK more in line with other countries and cities across the world.
For example, similar dedicated dance rehab services have been available to injured dancers for about 20 years in New York.
Like the dance injury clinic, the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science is a relatively new concept in the UK.
Supported by two UK universities and a number of professional dance organisations, it is aiming to create an international centre of excellence with a particular expertise in the treatment and prevention of dance injuries.
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