Amy Purdy discusses her ‘Dancing With the Stars’ injury

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

The Times is pleased to have Amy Purdy, who won a bronze medal in snowboardcross at the 2014 Paralympics, guest-blogging for us while she competes on “Dancing With the Stars” with pro partner Derek Hough. This week, Purdy writes about her injury during Monday’s show.

Sorry for my delayed blog post this week. As I think you may know, I hurt my back (really my shoulder/rib as it turns out) so I’ve been trying to get it diagnosed and on the mend ASAP.

So, what happened? Well, the rumba, like all of these dances, has its own subtleties and technical nuances that you have to do in order to do the dance well. In this dance there’s a lot of holding your back upright, in a graceful position, while keeping your shoulders down. Try it. Straighten your posture way, way up. Hold you head up while pulling your lats down. Now, imagine your right arm is your stability and it is what turns you and keeps you in that beautiful upright position. And imagine holding this position three to five hours a day for a week.

Keeping your shoulders down while you’re moving, twisting and trying to keep up with a dancing Superman like Derek is hard and it put a lot of strain on my shoulder blades, particularly my right one, all week long. I was able to get through our dance last night just fine without any soreness, but as we were wrapping up our chit-chat with the judges I turned my head and felt a distinct pop in my back. Instantly I was in pain. I managed to get up the stairs to do the quick interview with Erin [Andrews] and get our scores, but if you look real close at the video you can see me turning to Derek to tell him something was really, really wrong. I did the best I could to smile through it (The show must go on, right?) but I was not doing well there for a while.


I left the ballroom and was taken to the hospital to get checked out. After an X-ray they told me there was nothing wrong with my back or spine, which of course was a huge relief. The diagnosis was that it was muscular. It was severe back spasms likely brought on by overworking my shoulders all week. I was given some medication, I sent out a few tweets, and I was released.

Tuesday, I went to see a chiropractor in hopes of some relief and he found that a rib had moved a bit. He popped it back in place, which felt a lot better, but pretty quickly it popped out again. He reset it again, which was no fun, and so far it’s held in place. Knock on wood it will stay that way. I am feeling better now, but far from good.

I’m hoping for a good bit of recovery today. I’m told I have to make the call on if I’m dancing or not this week by today at 2 p.m. I’m doing everything I can to help make that happen but there’s only so much I can do. For the most part I just need some time to heal. Unfortunately extra time is not something I have a lot of these days.

If you haven’t already done so…please get online and vote for me. That will definitely help me feel better!

You can follow Amy Purdy at her website, on Instagram/Twitter: @AmyPurdyGurl and on Facebook.


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