Dancing is the most physically demanding activity on the feet. We think of celebrities, like Fred Astaire or Michael Jackson, whose agile and coordinated movements make the craft look so easy and fun. But that grooving took many hours of practice, all with the aid of their feet. This is where overuse injuries come into play, which is why we’ve created our informational foot care for dancers guide.
Prevention is key to ensuring you’re in the best shape for the dance floor or stage. Always listen to your body first because pain is a sign that something isn’t working correctly. Without careful attention, a small amount of discomfort can transform into a chronic issue, limiting your creative capacity. That’s why we can’t stress enough the importance of foot care for dancers.
Toenails are one of the first things to go amiss when you start a serious dance routine. In ballet, the “pointe” technique encourages dancers to support all of their body weight on the tip of their big toes. Though this conveys a beautiful form of statuesque, en pointe can especially wreak havoc with your toenails.
Avoid any potential issues by cutting your toenails regularly and straight across the nail. By cutting your toenails across and not directly from the sides, you are preventing yourself from forming an ingrown toenail. (Anyone who has had one of these knows how painful they are! Ingrown toenails can become infected if you wait too long to address them.)
Repeat after us — they are not when it comes to foot care for dancers! Blisters on your feet are painful. They can also become infected if you don’t treat them with the utmost care.
Practicing long hours, your skin rubbing against the sides of your new shoes — you’re adjusting to this new routine. Help this simple issue heal faster with the following steps:
• Cover the blister with a bandage to avoid it rubbing against the sides of your shoes further. (You can add additional protection by covering the blister and bandage with a moleskin patch!)
• Try applying deodorant on your feet to alleviate chafing.
You’ve worked so hard… It’s time to treat yo’self! (Are there any Parks and Rec fans out there?)
Epsom salts are a fantastic way to alleviate inflammation, as well as clarify and exfoliate your skin. After a long dance session, your dogs will definitely need some extra TLC. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath can be one of the best things you can do for them!
What are Epsom salts anyway? It’s a magnesium sulfate compound, like table salt. The magnesium in the compound promotes relaxation, energy production, and muscle function.
Once you’re finished with your foot bath, be sure to moisturize your feet. (You don’t want a case of cracked skin.)
As your resident foot docs, we always encourage circulation! Circulation fosters healthier feet, healing, and vibrant skin. You need an effective way to recover when you’re constantly using your feet during dance practice, and bringing blood flow to the area that’s recuperating will do wonders.
Massage can assist. Through the simple application of touch, you can ease sore muscles and loosen ligaments and tendons. Amazingly, foot care for dancers can be that easy.
We know, we’ve said this before. As docs, we can’t stress enough the importance of supporting your feet where they are. All fitness disciplines have their distinct needs, and so do your feet. The best way to prevent injury is to ensure that your feet and ankles have the right support.
All feet are different. If you’re interested in learning more about what your foot type might be, read more here.
If you have a serious injury, don’t delay because there is almost always a non-surgical way toward healing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.