Dancers and Ankle Care
Kinesiology involves the study of the art and science of human movement. The word come from the Greek word meaning, “to move.” Dancers heavily depend on their legs, feet, and especially the ankles to carry them through movement and performance. Our feet and ankles set a foundation for us to walk, dance, stand, and have mobility. However, we sometimes tend to not realize the importance of our anatomy, and the functionality of our musculoskeletal system. For dancers, being aware of your body and how it moves, is crucial.
If you are a dancer, or you go to watch a ballet or a recital, it is true that beautiful graceful movements grace the stage. Dancers ankles are usually very strong, but due to repetitive use of the muscles and joints, and inevitable wear and tear, performers are usually prone to foot and ankle injuries.
Types of Foot Injuries that Dancers Are Prone To
There are two types of injuries involved with activities of high impact and movement: overuse and traumatic. Dance injuries typically fall into the overuse category. Research has shown that ankle joint compression forces have been calculated to reach five times a person’s body weight during walking, and 9 to 13 times someone’s body weight during running.
Causes of Foot & Ankle Injuries in Dancers
Considering these forces and the complex structure and demands of the foot and ankle, it is not surprising that the ankle is the most frequently injured body part on dancers. In other words, given the numerous repetitive movements in dance, there is a higher incidence of overuse injuries, which usually occur during class or rehearsals, as opposed to happening during performance. According to podiatrytoday.com, approximately 50 percent of overuse dance injuries are foot and ankle injuries. Injuries of the lower extremity comprise the vast majority of all dance injuries, without much surprise.
Whether dancing is your job or your recreational activity, there are many foot and ankle injuries that you can be prone to experiencing.
Most Common Foot and Ankle Injuries Include:
- Achilles tendon: Often a pop or snap will cause pain in the Achilles tendon, along the back of your foot, above the heel. Sometimes the tendon tears, causing severe pain in back of the ankle, making it difficult to walk
- Ankle Sprains: This is the most common type of injury for dancers. Sprains are caused when the ligaments in the ankle are twisted or turned in an awkward way, causing the ligaments to sometimes tear
- Corns: Thickened, hard layers of skin due to friction and pressure
- Calluses: Formation of hard skin or tissue, commonly over a pre-existing wound
- Fractures: Partial or complete break of the bone due to pressure or extreme force
- Hammertoes: deformity that causes your toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward
- Plantar Fasciitis: An inflammation of a thick band of tissue (Plantar Fascia) that connects the heel bone to the toes
- Ingrown Toenails: A condition in which the corner or side of a toenail grows into the flesh
- Metatarsalgia: Sharp pains on the balls of the foot
Considering the high incidence of injury involving the ankle and foot, prevention of injuries to this region should be a priority for dancers. So, if you are a dancer, it is important to go get proper ankle care by a specialist as soon as possible, to avoid further complications.
Make an Appointment with a Podiatrist in Central Maryland Today!
If you are a dancer, or would like to learn how to take care of your ankle, and prevent further complications, call the podiatrists at Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644-1880, or request an appointment online.