London’s dedicated dance injury clinic is expanding to become the first centre in UK to offer specialist care for an energy-related condition affecting athletes.
Relative Energy Deficiency in Sports, also known as RED-S, refers to health concerns caused by an imbalance of energy intake and expenditure, to which dancers can be particularly vulnerable.
Dancers experiencing symptoms including weight loss, disrupted menstrual cycles, increased frequency of injuries and any bone stress injury can now be referred to the National Institute of Dance Medicine and Science’s clinic to receive care, treatment and advice.
The London clinic is one of three NHS specialist care centres for dancers – in addition to Birmingham and Bath – but is the UK’s first RED-S/Endochrine clinic.
Nicky Keay, who will jointly run the new clinic, said: “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.”
Keay has carried out extensive research in dance and sport endocrinology, and will work with Roger Wolman, a consultant in rheumatology and sports exercise medicine who has run the NHS London dance injury clinic since 2012.
She added: “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.”