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When actors take the stage, you commonly hear “break a leg”. For dancers, however, there’s an obvious reason why you would not say “break a leg”. This could mean a huge recovery period and possibly the end of their career. A dancer’s livelihood depends on healthy legs, ankles, and feet. That’s why although they may not discuss the topic amongst themselves anymore, they all understand the importance of caring for their overused, disfigured and often injured feet.

 

If you have injuries from recreational or professional dancing, seeing your podiatrist often is beneficial to maintaining good foot health. Our board-certified foot and ankle doctor, Brad Toll, DPM will help you find the best way to continuously care for your feet.

 

Common foot problems experienced by dancers

 

There are many foot and ankle injuries that dancers experience, including: Achilles Tendonitis or Injury, Ankle Sprains, Stress Fractures, Corns and Calluses, Fractures, Hammertoes, Heel Spurs (Plantar Fasciitis), Ingrown Toenails, Turf Toe, and Metatarsalgia. The following are the most common:

 

1. Hallux Rigidus or Limitus – You may feel pain or be unable to move at the joints of the big toe. The joints can rub together and become inflamed or degenerate the joint. Dancers should ice and relieve inflammation. Taping the toes can reduce further issues.

 

2. Bunions – Foot pain can be felt in the big toe or the ball of the foot. Repeated positions, postures, and other combinatory injuries can cause bunions at the big toe joint. Dancers should keep aware of any deformities and pain since untreated bunions could even require surgical interventions.

 

3. Metatarsalgia – There is pain and tenderness to the touch at the ball of the foot. This is commonly caused by extreme force on the smaller toes. The constant overstretching can cause instability in the joints and cause sharp pains. Strengthening the muscles that control the small toes can be helpful in preventing or treating metatarsalgia. Orthotic inserts can help relieve the pressures on the ball of the foot when walking.

 

4. Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs – The soles and heel of the foot can feel painful when overusing the tissues of the plantar fascia. The tissue becomes inflamed and painful, especially when there is tightness in the calf muscles or Achilles tendon. Use physical therapy to release tight tissues, stretch, and take anti-inflammatories if necessary.

 

5. Sesamoiditis – The tendon between the sesamoid bones can become inflamed when you are on the balls of your feet often. Pain is felt under the big toe, and also while bending the toe. Resting as much as possible to reduce pain and inflammation is recommended. If pain is chronic or very sharp, you may want to take X-rays to be sure the bones are not fractured.

 

As a dancer, it is wise to treat any issues early and often since repeated and untreated injury can lead to more severe issues. Our team at Crofton Podiatry will do their best to care for your feet and ankles, which are essential to your dance career. Make an appointment today by calling our office (410)721-4505 in Crofton, MD.

By Brad Toll
November 22, 2014
Category: Footwear

Recently Hollywood and the fashion industry has been abuzz with word of the latest fashion crime to appear on celebrities feet; the shower sandal. Made famous by the now infamous Adidas sandals that made their way into most people’s closets as a way to protect feet from locker-room floors over a decade ago, these nostalgic sandals are now making a big comeback in what’s being termed the ‘ugly-pretty’ market. Recently, high fashion shoe wear designers such as Celine and Chloe have revealed versions costing triple digits for the now infamous loungewear, which making its way into numerous celeb Instagrams and even a few red carpets (both with and without socks as well).

While it is our hope that this fad doesn’t make its way anywhere near the Annapolis and Crofton areas of Maryland, this does provide an excellent reminder of when old shoes (and even old styles such as shower sandals) should probably be thrown away and replaced. Old and worn shoes may aid to the development of overuse injuries, particularly those like stress fractures or tendinitis. These can be very painful conditions and may significantly set back your mobility and summer exercise routines, however, they are easily prevented by regular and proactive replacement of your shoe gear.

Many of my patients ask me how they should know when it is time to replace their summer running shoes.  For active runners, the golden rule I tell all my patients at Crofton Podiatry is to replace your shoes around every 500 miles or earlier if you begin feeling pain in your feet, ankles, or knees with wear. For non-strictly running activities such as CrossFit, replacing your athletic shoes at least every 12 months should be adequate depending on how hard you train.

If you’re unsure about the age or use of your shoes, the easiest way to determine their remaining longevity is by looking at the sole of each shoe. Shoes that are near the end of their life will show significant wear in the tread, perhaps even to the point where the bottom of the shoe is no longer flat. If you see any of these signs, or are still unsure on how the wear on your shoes may be affecting your health, it is important you see a knowledgeable shoe specialist to evaluate if your shoes are best for you and your health.

By Brad Toll.

Last week we talked about celebrities having issues with their high heels, and how you can stay safe yet fashionable in your upcoming formal summer events.  But high heels weren’t the only thing showing up on the red carpet this year, another source of foot pain appeared in the form of flats.  Celebs such as Kate Moss, Victoria Beckham, Dita Von Teese, Taylor Swift, and Emma Watson have been seen recently sporting flat shoes everywhere from the grocery store to the most fashionable gatherings.

While flats may be easy to slip on – the damage the can create with repetitive use may not be so easy to shake off.  Shoes with flat and thin soles can cause problems ranging from stubbed toes and cuts, to overuse injuries such as stress fractures and plantar fasciitis.  As a seasoned podiatrist in Bowie and Annapolis, it is not uncommon for me to see at least one patient with a flip-flop related injury daily throughout the summer months.  Generally speaking, people with flatter arches are more susceptible to overuse injuries because they need more support for their bodies. Flats and flip flops simply don’t provide enough support to absorb the forces of walking.

While excessive use of flats and flip-flops can cause many problems, moderate use is typically handled well, especially if only used periodically in combination with other shoe types.  However, if you start to feel problems from your footwear, make an appointment with your local podiatrist. If you’re in the greater Annapolis area, I invite you to drop by my office at Crofton Podiatry. We can talk about the reasons why you’re experiencing issues, and the options available to best relieve your pain.  Remember – the best way to enjoy your upcoming summer is on your feet!

By Brad Toll.




Call Today (410) 721-4505

2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

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