New clinic for dancers at RNOH

ballet dancer

The National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science (NIDMS) is pleased to announce the expansion of the London NHS Dance Injury Clinic to include the UK’s first RED-S/Endocrine clinic.

Previously known as the Female Athlete Triad, Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports (RED-S) refers to health concerns caused by a lack of energy available to support both exercise and normal physiological functioning. Health concerns associated with RED-S are described by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as ‘impaired physiological function including, but not limited to, metabolic rate, menstrual function, bone health, immunity, protein synthesis, cardiovascular health caused by relative energy deficiency’.

Dancers who are experiencing symptoms that may be as a result of RED-S such as weight loss (sudden or gradual), periods stopping, periods less regular and infrequent, periods much lighter, increased frequency of injuries (either soft tissue or bone), or any bone stress injury, can now be referred to NIDMS’ London dance injury clinic to receive care, treatment and advice from specialists.

The new NIDMS RED-S/Endocrine clinic will be jointly run by Dr Roger Wolman and Dr Nicky Keay at the RNOH. Dr Roger Wolman, Consultant in Rheumatology and Sports and Exercise Medicine (SEM) has been leading the London NHS dance injury clinic since 2012, where he has treated over 1000 dancers over the past 7 years. Prior to joining the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dr Wolman worked at the British Olympic Medical Centre and during this time carried out research on bone health and the Female Athlete Triad including studying bone mineral density in dancers. Dr Nicky Keay has extensive clinical and research experience in dance and sport endocrinology and a special interest and expertise in RED-S in both dancers and athletes. Dr Keay was a key contributor to One Dance UK publications Your Body Your Risk and Fit to Dance? and has recently written the British Association of Sports Exercise and Medicine (BASEM) website Health4Performance, which is a world-first educational resource to raise awareness of RED-S amongst dancer/athlete, coaches/teacher, parents/friends and healthcare professionals.

“NIDMS is leading the way by supporting this UK first NHS RED-S dedicated clinic. Although RED-S stands for relative energy deficiency in sport, male and female dancers of all levels are clearly a group at risk of developing the consequences of RED-S in terms of injury, fatigue, illness, poor sleep, and psychological stress. As a dedicated dancer myself with experience of researching and working with dancers in the clinical setting, I am delighted and honoured to be helping my colleague Dr Wolman run this clinic. I am looking forward to working with dancers and athletes of all ages at risk of RED-S” – Dr Nicky Keay

The addition of specialist care for dancers at risk of RED-S serves NIDMS’ mission to provide the dance sector with access to high quality, affordable, dance specific health care. NIDMS NHS dance injury clinics are also available in Birmingham at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Bath at the Royal United Hospital with further clinics in development.

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