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Ballet Talk for Dancers
ascballerina

Icing

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ascballerina

[ASC, skip the preface and just ask the question]

 

When you ice sore muscles and joints and stuff, is it better to do it when you come home immediately, or wait until after you've had a shower? I was icing my ankle, and I thought, I'm going to have to take a hot shower when I'm done, won't that undo the icing?

 

Also...I noticed my ankle actually hurt more after I iced it, so I'm leaving off it for now...that's what I should do, right? (the first question is still relevant, I'm genuinely curious)

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Victoria Leigh

The first thing we need to know is what is wrong with your ankle? Is it a typical ankle ligament sprain, or is it your Achilles, or is it hurt somewhere in the front of the ankle, or what? Have you seen a doctor? Is there swelling?

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ascballerina

I don't know what's wrong with my ankle. We don't have a doctor at the moment because she just closed her practice and left for somewhere further north, the osteo didn't see anything out of the ordinary with it, there's no swelling, it's on the inside of my ankle in between the Achilles and the anklebone at the height of the top of the anklebone. It feels uncomfortable sometimes, but the actual pain I used to experience has gone away--except when I try icing it. I noticed it mostly occurs when I pronate (I do it when I'm tired, and we go barefoot around the house most of the time), and it'll go away if I go put supportive shoes on.

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Victoria Leigh

Okay, sounds like it could be aggravated by the pronating. Don't do it! Make sure you have all five toes on the ground, walking or dancing! :) And if icing hurts it, don't do that either. Just take away the cause of the problem.

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ascballerina

It sometimes occurs when I pointe my foot, too....even when I'm practically winging (to the best of my ability to ensure there is no sickle). It's like it gets stuck...

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Victoria Leigh

Not a doctor here, asc. Sorry. It sounds like a ligament or tendon catching between something else, and then moving back into place. But not sure what to do about it other than remove whatever is causing it. Be sure that you warm up carefully and slowly before class, especially your feet. Sometimes these little "glitches" happen, and go away. But, if it keeps happening, then you will need to see someone who can diagnose and treat the problem.

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ascballerina

Ok, Ms Leigh. It's a bit better than it was the last few weeks--on Sunday it felt like it was working through its issues and I haven't had a stabbing pain since, so I'm hopeful it'll go away soon...

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ascballerina

My ankle hurt again in class last night, so after the class, my teacher took a closer look. Apparently in my effort to pointe harder (I don't have great feet), I've lost the "lengthening" feeling, and instead have been, in her words "jamming the heel into the ankle", and that has irritated the tendon. She's going to do some PNF stretching with me to work on the flexibility in the foot so I don't have to resort to this--I told her I can feel the lengthening, but only to a certain point, and then I lose it.

 

In all fairness to her, I spoke up about it once and that was weeks ago, back when we were first starting the year up, and I haven't really mentioned it since, because it goes away and then crops up again, so I thought it wasn't a big deal, and only occurred when I was tired. It just happened to hurt a lot yesterday, which is why I said something. It still hurts today. I'm under orders to drink ginger tea to reduce the swelling, since I refuse to take aspirin or anything similar, and not being a doctor, she didn't want to tell me anything else.

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