Prima Ballerina Status May Come at the Expense of Your Feet
Ballet is especially tough on the feet. Whether it’s balancing on tiptoe, jumping far and high, or continuously pointing the feet, there’s no way around it; the visually stunning practice of ballet can wreak havoc on your feet. Frequent issues that result from ballet dancing are usually complications from a technique called “pointe”. Dancing on pointe is the practice of dancing on tiptoe using ballet shoes with a hard ‘box’ in the front of the shoe. Other issues from ballet work stem from ill-fitting shoes and the extensive physical activity required for more serious dancers.
“Dancers have amazing talent, but unfortunately some exercises and techniques can damage the ankle and foot if practiced extensively,” says Asheboro podiatrist, Dr. Richard Sikora of Triad Foot Center.
For example, the pointe technique can cause sprains, fractures, and other serious foot-related conditions. As a result of the pointe technique, ballet dancers may also experience higher than average foot pain due to the weight that is concentrated on the very tips of their toes. A dancer arches his/her feet in an extreme manner, while the toes are pointed vertically and held for an extended amount of time.
Other foot problems that can arise as a result of ballet dancing are blistering, chafing, and ingrown toenails. One main cause of these issues for dancers are due to ill-fitting shoes. The ballet slippers dancers wear showcase their abilities, but have no support. Having a lack of proper foot support, while executing techniques that put strain on the foot and toes, can lead to foot problems such as calluses, toe fractures and ingrown toenails.
Foot pain experienced should be taken seriously when the first sign of a problem presents itself. Even the slightest discomfort can become easily magnified. A dancer’s worst nightmare is a serious foot injury that prevents them from practicing or performing. Having a podiatrist that is regularly visited will go a long way in keeping a dancer’s feet in tip-top shape. Click here to request an appointment at Triad Foot Center.
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