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By Crofton Podiatry
August 19, 2017
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Ballet dancers seem to epitomize grace and glamour. Their smooth movement and seemingly impossible flexibility can leave you in awe. However, unless maybe you are a ballerina or you’ve seen a movie about ballet dancers, you may not know that most struggle with gruesome foot issues. While natural talent and practice may help them get to their goal positions, taking care of their feet and ankles are just as important to being able to successfully pursue their career goals.

 

Hiding within their soft ballet shoes, you can often find cut and bruised toes, purple or black toenails, and/or swollen toes and toe joints. The invisible issues are the ones that typically get abused and ignored – sprains and strains that do not get enough rest and treatment. For new dancers and veterans alike, it’s important to know and acknowledge that leaving injuries untreated can make problems worse. 

 

The following are common issues that ballet dancers may experience and how to take care of them:

  • Ingrown, bruised, or broken toenails – Because ballet dancers are often “en pointe,” toenails can suffer from constant impact and pressure. Keep toenails trimmed and see a podiatrist to take care of any broken toenails. Use ice and rest to allow bruises to heal.
  • Hammertoes – These deformities are also caused by the excessive pressure put on the toes while “en pointe”. Using tape can help support your toes, treating them early is the best way to prevent a permanent deformity.
  • Sesamoiditis, bunions, metatarsalgia – These big toe joint and midfoot related conditions are caused by repetitive movements and pressure involving the forefoot. Rest is crucial early on to prevent worsening of symptoms. These conditions can also result in inflammation or deformity, so get treatment earlier than later.
  • Ankle sprains or tendon issues – The ankle is prone to injury during the many positions and jumps that ballerinas perform. Strengthen them to prevent injury, but use the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) at the first sign of injury. If conditions do not improve, come see our podiatrist for further treatment.
  • Fractures or Broken Bones – Repetitive injury and pressure can result in fracturing bones. A fall or mistimed jump can also end in broken ankles. These must be treated promptly, or the problem can become more severe.

 

Being embarrassed about how your feet look, or ignoring the problem so that you don’t lose your starring role can ultimately be damaging, long-term. It can even get to the point where an injury can prematurely end your career.

 

Instead of avoiding the problem, it’s best to address your problems early and often. Our foot doctor can guide you as you continue to strive for success. Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. Make an appointment by calling (410) 721-4505. Our dedicated staff is ready to assist you at our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505