Introduction to Dance Podiatry
Fluid movement of lower limbs and feet are simply part of a dancer’s life. Seeing our podiatrist for dance-related issues can facilitate growth and healing, as well as avoid dance-related injuries.
What Are Dancing Injuries?
Ankle flexibility and mobility are incredibly important for dancers and many dance-related injuries affect the feet. Worse yet, the range of lower-limb injuries specific to the dance profession can also inhibit mobility.
Some dance-related injuries include:
- Calluses and blisters. Tight dancing shoes lead to compressed feet and high friction which over time, this can result in blisters and calluses.
- Ingrown toenails. Ill-fitting shoes and undue pressure on the toes can lead to improper toenail growth, cutting into the soft tissue surrounding the nailbed.
- Diseased or injured nails. Dance often requires consistent impact of feet against hard surfaces, which can lead to nail damage.
- Sprained ankles. Ballerinas put a lot of pressure onto the ankle in various positions and this over-exerting force can lead to ankle sprains.
- Dancer’s heel. Also known as ‘dancer’s ankle’, this is especially common among ballet dancers when the tissue at the back of the ankle becomes compressed by a bony deformation. It can grow worse as the bone formation grows and affects more tissue.
Other dance-related conditions include plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, hallux rigidus, Achilles tendonitis, Hallux rigidus, and metatarsalgia.
How Can A Podiatrist Help With These Conditions?
Visiting a podiatrist is an important part of a dancer’s feet care. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, The Foot Practice’s podiatrists will trace the cause of the pain and treat it accordingly.
For example, one common dance-related condition the podiatrist can treat is metatarsalgia, where you experience pain over the balls of your feet. Repeated high-impact bursts of motion by dancers overloads the metatarsal bones in the forefront of the foot. For example, the demi-pointe position for ballerinas puts further stress on the metatarsal region, making metatarsalgia more likely.
The Foot Practice’s podiatrists can treat metatarsalgia with different treatments, which may include stretching and strengthening exercises to alter pressure and foot landing. Shockwave Therapy, a technology that applies sound waves from compressed air to the relevant tissue, can aid in healing and provide immediate pain relief in many cases.
Another dance podiatry treatment is orthotic therapy, where custom insoles can help re-align the lower limbs and reduce pressure on the forefoot.
These techniques are great foot care for dancers, to either prevent career-threatening injuries or to deal with an existing niggling or chronic injury. Here are other services our podiatrists at The Foot Practice can provide:
- Injury management and prevention
- Pre-pointe assessment, and pointe-shoe fitting
- Customisation of pointe shoes
- Dance specific strength training for the lower limb
- Footwear advice
- Nail issues, corns, callous and other skin irritations
- Return to dance plans
Consider visiting The Foot Practice in Singapore for your dance podiatry needs, to make sure you stay dancing without any pain or discomfort. Make an appointment with our specialised podiatrist to discuss prevention or rehabilitation for your injury. If you’re a dancer, you need to take care of your feet!