If you’re a dancer—in training, professionally or simply at heart, there are things you should know about the health of your feet (and your whole body) in order to avoid unnecessary and/or prolonged injury. When misguided or left untreated, a foot injury can mean the end of a dancing career, and ultimately, a dream. Like any other sport, dance is physically challenging and can be taxing on your body. That’s why its important to make note of any signs of injury or pain at their onset…don’t wait and think that things will just resolve with time.
Parents, begin to talk to your dancers about injury prevention while they’re young! Young dancers have the opportunity to train themselves on injury prevention and treatment from the start, setting the tone for a positive future. How a dancer approaches rehabilitation can make or break his or her training and career.
Dance requires repetitive motions and techniques that, over time, commonly lead to overuse injuries. Approximately 50% of these are foot and ankle related! To avoid injury in the first place, proper nutrition, strengthening and footwear are essential. Careful planning around a rigorous rehearsal/training schedule will ensure that a dancer is eating frequently and well enough to sustain the demand on his or her body. Dancers should be fit by a professional when purchasing new shoes, as poorly fitting dance shoes can lead to problems including blisters, callouses, trauma to toenails, bunions and hammertoes.
There are many foot injuries that commonly plague serious dancers, including stress fractures, dancers fractures, joint and ligament issues, shin pain, tendonitis, metatarsalgia, and neuroma. If you have questions or concerns about the condition of your feet or ankles as a result of dance and/or dance training, we can help!