While dancing may look fluid and graceful, it requires intense practice, training, and stamina.
Along with that, the dancer must have strong muscles and great flexibility to produce the proper technique required for different schools of dancing. However, dancing also comes with a high risk of getting injured. Because dancers use repetitive motions and train for hours at a time, the joints and muscles can become overused and fatigued on a deeper level, causing strain in the associated tissues, ligaments, tendons, and bones.
Many types of injuries can occur from this strain, from minor bruising to seriously torn ligaments. Many dance injuries will need treatment, so it’s important to diagnose what you have as soon as possible to begin correcting the issue.
The expert medical specialists at Gotham Footcare are trained to treat a host of dance injuries. Here is a list of common conditions that can occur.
Ankle sprain is a type of injury in which your ankle twists, rolls, or turns the wrong way, which can tear or stretch the ligaments of your ankle. It can be moderate to severe.
Symptoms include swelling, bruising, pain, redness, difficulty walking, and instability when you shift your weight on the affected foot.
Achilles Tendonitis occurs when there is an injury to the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf to the heel. It’s caused by overusing the Achilles tendon, which is common for dancers, particularly if they are participating in lots of leaping or jumping on hard surfaces.
Symptoms include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the tendon.
Also known as a long spiral fracture of the distal metatarsal, this injury happens on the outside of the foot when a dancer rolls over their foot, usually when en pointe or trying to land a jump.
Symptoms include pain and swelling on the outside of the foot, as well as trouble walking.
Also known as posterior impingement syndrome, this injury happens when tissue behind the ankle is compressed because of a bony formation. It can often be triggered by an ankle sprain.
Symptoms include pain, swelling, or inflammation behind the ankle.
This is a condition when one or more of the toes bend and curl down instead of pointing forward. This can happen from wearing narrow shoes that compress the toes or repeated pressure on a toe that sticks out.
Signs of hammertoe include a permanently bent toe, difficulty moving the toe, and large calluses or corns.
This condition happens when there’s a calcium deposit underneath or behind the heel bone, which causes a bony protrusion by as much as half an inch.
Symptoms of heel spurs can include swelling, pain, and inflammation in your heel.
This is a common issue that happens when either the toenail grows into the skin, or the skin on one or both sides grows over the edges of the toenail. This is most common in the big toe.
Signs of an ingrown toenail include pain, inflammation, redness, pus, or fever.
This condition manifests as pain and inflammation on the ball of your foot, usually from overuse or repetition - which is common in running.
Signs you have metatarsalgia include sharp pain in the ball of your foot, located where your toes meet the bottom of your foot, shooting pain or numbness in your toes, feeling like you’re walking on a rock, or increasing pain when you try and run that resolves when you’re off your feet.
This condition is a pinched nerve in your foot caused by tissue thickening in your foot. Although usually benign, it can cause pain as it tends to occur on the ball of the foot. It is also known as Morton’s Neuroma.
Signs of this include pain, burning sensations, or numbness on the bottom of your foot around the affected area below the toes.
One of the most common injuries to your foot, plantar fasciitis refers to irritation or degeneration in the fascia, or tissue, that is on the bottom of your foot.
Signs of this condition include slowly developing pain or a burning sensation on the bottom of your foot, pain under your heel or midfoot, increased sensitivity when you get up in the morning, or pain after being on your feet for a while.
This condition is when a hairline crack forms on the top of your foot, in your heel, or your lower leg, though it can occur elsewhere. It usually happens because of the repetitive impact from running on your foot.
Signs you may have a stress fracture include swelling, bruising, tendering, or slowly increasing pain in the affected area at all times of the day.
The biggest benefit of diagnosing your dance injury as soon as possible is that it can lessen the amount of time you will need to spend away from dancing.
In addition, it can keep a minor injury from turning into a more serious one that can affect your overall mobility for an extended length of time.
Despite the many different kinds of injuries that can occur in a dancer, they all have one thing in common: they need time to heal. By trying to rush through an injury, you may affect your continued mobility as a dancer in the long term.
Your doctor at Gotham Footcare aims to get you back to dancing as quickly as possible. They will create a specific treatment plan for your injury and work to restore function in your body. As a result, it may take from a few weeks to several months before you are fully healed. It’s also important to recognize that some injuries may reoccur if you do not give yourself the time needed to fully heal.
Dancers are trained to pay attention to their bodies and notice the smallest changes.
If you have noticed an increase in pain or loss of movement, or some other difference in your feet, ankles, knees, legs, or hips, it’s important to get it looked at right away to stave off further injury. To treat your dancer’s injuries New York City based Gotham Footcare can help you set up a consultation today by calling or emailing anytime.
Since dancers train extensively, there is likely to be a familiar sense of soreness or aching after an intense workout. However, if the pain does not subside or grows even sharper, then there is a chance there’s a deeper injury present.
In addition, if you notice a loss of range of motion in your foot, ankle, knee, or hip, then that is a sign that there may be an injury building in a particular area. Some injuries may also begin as a minor irritation that begins to feel more acute over time.
Overall, it’s important to notice any changes in your body and how you move and have it looked at as soon as possible.
There is a wide range of injuries that can happen to a dancer, from minor sprains to torn ligaments. Your insurance should cover treatment for some or all of your injury.
However, if you struggle with your insurance deductible or do not have insurance, there are financing and payment options available. Make sure to inquire during your consultation.
At Gotham Footcare in NYC, we strive at recognizing your individual needs and desired outcomes while formulating an effective and personalized treatment plan with the highest quality care available.
What sets Gotham Footcare apart from other podiatry offices is our dedication to providing you with the education you need to make well-informed decisions regarding your care. Regardless of what your foot and ankle trouble may be, at Gotham Footcare our team will work tirelessly to help you feel better. At Gotham Footcare, we help you put your best foot forward.