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17 The Crescent
Midland, WA, 6056


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Dancing 'til Dawn

Jane Lawler


Ballerinas, do you know about these common injuries?

Ballet dancers can be on their feet for up to six hours each day. That's six hours of repetitive, highly involved movements that place a lot of excessive load and torque on the foot and ankle.

As you would expect, ballet dancers are quite notorious for causing enormous amounts of wear and tear to the ligaments, tendons, and joints in their lower limbs.

If you're a dancer (or you know a dancer) some of the most common injuries for you to be aware of include:

Sesamoiditis (Pain under the first toe joint): The sesamoids are very small bones in the tendons connected to the big toe. They can be strained or fractured by dancing on hard surfaces, excessive walking, jumping, and shock, and dancing on demi-pointe.

Hallux Limitus and Rigidus (Stiff and painful first toe joint): The prolonged force on the big toe during dancing can lead to inflammation of the big toe joint, and cause stiffness over time. Because of the pain and stiffness dancers who experience this will tend to shift their weight to the outside of the foot which leads to excess strain on other joints.

Stress Fractures: In dancers a stress fracture occurs typically because of the tremendous stress that is placed on the bones when you are 'en pointe' - when the foot is maximally plantar-flexed. Stress fractures are due to overuse and overload on a particular part of the foot.

Achilles Tendinopathy (Achilles tendon pain): The Achilles tendon runs down the back of the leg to the heel and allows the dancer to rise onto pointe. If you wrap shoe ribbons too tightly around the ankle, have shoe elastic which is too tight around the heel, or if you don't lower your heel completely down between relevés, you put yourself at risk of developing Achilles tendon pain.

If you think you might be developing any one of these common injuries, and would like a professional assessment, book an appointment to come in and see us. We can assess your gait, look at the structure and form of your foot and recommend an individual treatment plan.

Call us today on 9250 1676 or book online.