The art of ballet has been enjoyed by people around the world for centuries. There may be nothing more beautiful than watching a dancer seemingly float across the stage. Unfortunately, dancers’ foot health is risked for the privilege of being able to entertain audiences. Years of practice can take its toll on the feet and ankles.
Several of the injuries that dancers sustain are not severe in nature. The good news is that they don’t often pose a serious threat. Some, though, should cause concern. A podiatrist can examine a dancer’s feet and discuss treatment options for the specific issue.
Some common injuries that can be caused by ballet include:
Dancer’s Fracture: This is one of the most common acute fractures suffered by dancers. This fracture occurs in the bone that is on the outer edge of the foot, the fifth metatarsal. It tends to happen when a dancer jumps and lands poorly.
Sesamoiditis: This condition causes pain when a person flexes their big toe. It is most often caused by regularly being on demi-pointe, or resting the weight on the bone behind the bit toe. The onset of sesamoiditis is gradual rather than acute.
Plantar Fasciitis: This condition is seen in people of all occupations. It occurs when the tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot is overused. It is often very painful in the morning and after a period of rest.
Achilles Tendonitis: The achilles tendon runs along the back of the ankle. Tendonitis can occur when a dancer repeatedly jumps and lands, or even dances, on a floor that is too hard.
Metatarsalgia: This condition occurs after years of working the feet too hard and forcing them into positions that are unnatural. It is an instability in the joints of the toes and can cause pain in the ball of the foot.
While many injuries that ballet dancers sustain are treatable and cause no serious injury, some do have long-term complications. If injuries remain untreated, the dancer may suffer with chronic pain or an alteration of the normal walking gait.
Dancers who experience pain in their feet or ankles are strongly advised to stop dancing until they can be diagnosed. Injuries that are left untreated can lead to complications that last a lifetime and can cause further, more serious injury. No dancer should be forced to move through the pain.
If you are experiencing pain in the toes, foot, heel or ankles and live in Salt Lake City or the surrounding area, Dr. Elizabeth Auger would like to welcome you to her practice. Dr. Auger will perform a comprehensive examination, diagnose your injury or condition and offer you treatment options. You don’t have to take another step on painful feet. Reach out to our office today to schedule your first appointment and put yourself on the path to comfort.