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Common problems for ballet dancers: Hip and knee joint pain

Hello, my name is Sato and I run J-CLINIC, a physiotherapy and acupuncture clinic in Bangkok.


We see many ballet dancers at J-CLINIC, and a common complaint is pain in both the hip and knee joints. In this post, I will discuss the causes and treatments for such pain, based on an actual case.


A patient case

Twenty-year-old Ms. M has been dancing classical ballet for 10 years. Two months before a performance, she felt pain in her right hip.

Pain gradually began to appear also in her right knee, at which point she came to J-CLINIC for help.


J-CLINIC’s diagnosis

We checked Ms. M’s movements and pain and identified two causes of her hip pain.

(1) Overuse of her right leg

Because her left leg was weaker, Ms. M more often used the right leg as the pivot, which placed an extra burden on the right leg.

(2) Incorrect muscle use for internal and external leg rotation

Ms. M was using her muscles incorrectly to maintain leg turnout in the five basic ballet positions. This strained her right hip.

The knee pain was likely caused by the strain of shielding the right hip joint while dancing.


Given these causes, J-CLINIC’s treatment for Ms. M comprised:


Manual therapy(Deep tissue massage)


Deep-tissue massage to relax muscle tension and adjust your body balance


Motion & manipulation (M&M)


Motion & manipulation therapy to improve hip- and knee-joint motion.




Acupuncture improves blood flow to the stiff muscle tissue that is causing you pain and limiting your range of motion. The improved blood flow will flush out the pain-producing substances collecting in the stiff areas. It also relieves tension in joints and muscle ligaments, giving you better a range of motion and relief from pain.


Ultrasound and high voltage therapy


Ultrasound and high voltage therapy promotes cellular repair. It speeds up healing and relieves pain.


Advice on stretching and other exercises


After the pain goes down, we will teach you exercises that you can do at home and self-care tips to prevent your injury from recurring.


Ms. M continued her ballet lessons for the two months leading up to her performance while being treated twice a week at J-CLINIC, and she was able to perform as planned.


In movements such as relevé, where a dancer goes up on her toes, the hips, knees, and ankles align themselves along the same axis, which makes it common for pain or strain in one area to trigger pain in another.

It’s therefore important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you have pain or discomfort in your body.
For many dancers and athletes, overuse and fatigue are common causes of injuries. You can also get fatigue recovery care at J-CLINIC before and after lessons and important performances, so please come over for a consultation!

📞For Booking

    Phrom Phong: 097-257-3577
    Thonglor: 084-424-1299
    Ekkamai: 097-245-7863


Treatments for shoulder pains


Past cases