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Ballet is by far one of the most beautiful dances. A ballet dancer's body naturally gets a lot of attention - everything has to look perfect to make the performance on stage perfect. One body part that is often neglected by ballet dancers are...their feet! Hidden behind the protective layer of ballet shoes, ballet dancer's feet tell a horrible story.
Most dancers will whine about some sort of foot harm or the other at some point within their training, and professional ballet dancers will most likely be harassed with chronic foot injuries, some of them so serious that they can end a great dancer’s career.
Overuse of the extrinsics and weakness in the intrinsic foot muscles will also lead to the toes' clawing especially “en pointe”. Here is the largest cause behind the foul blisters which are commonly seen in photographs of professional ballet dancers. Especially hallux limitus is very common, but also plantar fasciitis is one of the foot conditions ballet dancers might suffer at one point in their life.
It is very important for ballet dancers in particular to not neglect their feet, to listen to the signals their body is sending out. Especially if you are not looking for a grand career in ballet dancing your foot health comes first – unless you want to suffer from life-long foot problems.
I've been dancing my whole life. And I've been loving it. It's my life and it's kind of my way of dealing with everyday stressful situations. It feels good just to forget everything around you and... just dance. Lately, however, I've also started to go running as I felt I've gained a few pounds. I might have taken it too fast, or maybe it was the dancing...who knows. And all of a sudden...I was diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis.
Trust me when I say this - Plantar Fasciitis is no fun. It is this horrible pain in your heel that just doesn't want to go away. The moment I got diagnosed I knew that dancing was off the table for the next couple of months. However, I was determined to to the best I can to heal as fast as possible.
Footwear: The Importance of Good Plantar Fasciitis Shoes
My biggest problem seemed to be that I don't own a good pair of shoes for plantar fasciitis. I mainly wear ballet flats (which are horrible to prevent any kind of foot injuries) and even my running shoes were old and worn out. I haven't replaced them in years. I don't like wearing sneakers, but I'd do anything to get rid of that pain. I started to research on the net and stumbled upon a good guide on tumblr for plantar fasciitis shoes by C. Soulliner. She also lists some sneakers and running shoes for plantar fasciitis. This was a good start. So I replaced my pretty ballet flats with something like this:
What annoys me the most is that I went to the doctor and it seems that he can't even do much about it. All I got was some anti inflammatory and some advice on how to relief the heel pain. Mainly stretches and a few exercises that I have to do on a daily basis. Mostly putting ice on the heel though to calm down the inflammation. And not walking barefoot, but instead I should wear proper plantar fasciitis shoes that provide support to my heel.
Apparently it can take years until your plantar fasciitis is fully healed. The sooner you do something about it the less worse it gets. I didn't hesitate long to go to the doctor. After all, it did hurt like hell. And my mother had plantar fasciitis as well, so she instantly knew what was going on. So I'm kind of confident that I can take care of it.
I seriously hope this will get better soon. They say it is an inflammation, so there's nothing you can really do about it but put ice on it, stretch, relax....and wait. No more dancing (and running) for now. It's unfortunate, but I guess there's nothing I can do about it. I rather don't exercise for a few weeks than fight for healthy feet for my whole life (I read a few extreme cases online - almost horror stories). The doctor also said that I can dance again in the future, if I take it slowly. I'm looking forward to that.
When you feel a stabbing pain in your heel after your first step in the morning you might suffer from plantar fasciitis (pronounce: fash-e-eye-tis).
The plantar fascia is the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. When this tissue becomes swollen or inflamed, it is called plantar fasciitis.
Successful Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
A successful treatment of plantar fasciitis includes a mix of various healing and preventative measures. No single treatment seems to be successful in treating plantar fasciitis. For many people a combination of treatments have been proven to give pain relief and to prevent plantar fasciitis.
RICE – Rest, Ice Massage, Compression & Elevation
Dancing is some people’s job, other people dance because it’s good exercise. And it’s true, dancing is a very good whole body workout, which can, however, be particularly hard on your feet. In this post I want to talk about two typical dancing injuries: Plantar Fasciitis and Hallux Limitus.
Causes: Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that usually happens when the tendon is overstretched. This can happen because you are overweight or because you exercise too much and your feet are not strong enough for that kind of pressure. Even old and worn out shoes can result in plantar fasciitis.
Symptom(s): You know that you have plantar fasciitis when you get up in the morning or from sitting for a longer period of time and you experience heel pain.
Hallux Limitus (Stiff Big Toe)
Causes: There are several different causes for Hallux Limitus. However, as a dancer you might experience this condition after putting too much pressure on your toe. This puts you at risk of damaging the cartilage and as a result it might get inflamed.
Symptoms: Swelling, pain and stiffness of the toe are typical symptoms.