Don’t ignore foot pain on the dance floor. Dancing the night away can take a toll on feet and ankles. Both professional and amateur dancers can suffer from foot injuries that can stop the show, as witnessed this season on the popular reality-television show, Dancing with the Stars.
The most common types of dance-related foot and ankle problems are overuse injuries, which occur due to the repetitive movements in dance. Over 50 percent of dance injuries occur in the foot and ankle. The severity of the damage is determined by a patient’s age, strength and flexibility and the type of shoes worn when dancing.
Other common types of injuries related to dancing can include:
- Stress fracture (hairline breaks in the bone) from repeated jumping and landing
- Foot neuroma (thickening/irritation of the nerves in the ball of the foot) resulting from repetitive pivoting
- Shin splints (pain and swelling in the front of the lower legs) which can be aggravated by recurring activities
- Tendonitis (inflammation of the tendons in the foot) from over exertion
- Corns, calluses or blisters—all painful skin irritations resulting from repeated rubbing of the skin on the feet.
With dancing being repetitively hard on the lower extremities, how can dancers of any level protect their feet and ankles? The best defense to injury is prevention. Dancers should wear appropriate shoes to properly support their feet and ankles as well as perform dance moves with their individual skill levels in mind. And more importantly they should to take the proper care off the dance floor; Icing the feet and ankles after a strenuous dance session, stretching to increase the mobility of the tissues in order to become flexible and move like graceful dancers should.
When an injury does occur, prompt medical attention by a foot and ankle surgeon can make all the difference in a proper rehabilitation. Most dance injuries can be treated with conservative care and education as long as they are addressed early and not ignored. If injuries are left untreated, may require surgical intervention to ensure proper healing.
If you live in the Monmouth or Ocean County area and you are suffering from foot pain, call our office, Affiliated Foot and Ankle Center, located in Howell NJ.