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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Help? Pain at the front of the ankle


Sanna Koulu

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Hiya,

 

Has anyone had experience with this kind of ankle pain?

 

- There's dull pain at the front of the ankle when I plie, and the painful right ankle won't flex as far as the left one. (Plantar flexion is as good in both ankles)

 

- The ankle feels tight, especially when flexed so that the knee is straight above the mid-toes - the foot wants to turn out more than the knee.

 

- Occasionally there's a definite, painless, snap when it feels as if something shifts in the ankle. (My joints do snap and pop and crackle quite a lot, usually, but not that kind of deep sound)

 

The pain has been there for a while - a month or more, at least. I've been noticing it more now that I'm trying to return to my classes after tendinitis. It's also annoying because it's hard to stretch the calf muscles without flex in the ankle :rolleyes:

 

Just before I had to take time off dancing because of the tendinitis, I did hurt my ankle a bit - didn't sprain it, but maybe stretched the lateral ligaments somewhat? I also jarred the same ankle a bit last autumn, coming down from a jump.

 

I'd be grateful for any insight or experiences. Mainly I was wondering whether I should go straight to the doctor or if there's something I might do to rehabilitate the ankle and see if it settles.

 

Thanks :)

 

- Sanna

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when you plie, does the tendon at the top of hte ankle lift up?--it sould stay quiest and soft, and if there's tension in it, or it rises, something is out of whack...... make sure you find a position for htat foot, without rolling over, and with hte weight going down/out between the big and second toes....

 

I have a similar problem myself, and had an unpleasant landing from a jump that sounds like your experience.... in my case, there's a problem in hte ankle, the cuboid bone has dropped slightly..... standing on a tennis-ball helps lift and soften hte muscles under the arch.....

 

check the knee, make sure the head of hte quad on the inside of the knee is not getting too weak to keep the knee from tracking properly...... "knees over toes"

 

There's a very effective pilates exercise for that head of the quad, be SURE to keep the knee tracking.... properly...

 

Good luck.....

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That sounds a lot like something that just happened to me recently, except my problem was with the equivalent area of my wrist. It hurt for a couple of days, then went "click" and it stopped hurting! Tarsals and Carpals have a lot in common, and it's not surprising that podiatists used to be called "chiropodists", because they used to deal with hands as well as feet!

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Thanks, folks :)

 

(sorry for the lag in answering, too.. too much hurry altogether)

 

Paul, a dropped cuboid sounds rather scary! I hope it settles speedily.

 

I shall have to try standing on a tennis ball, it sounds as if it might be nice for tired arches too. First I will have to acquire one, though :) I'll try to be careful about proper alignment of the knees. I went to PT last winter, because of achy knees, and got a munch of exercises I should probably do more faithfully.

 

(The tendons seem to be okay, plie'ing just hurts. Reading up on the 'net made me suspect anterior impingement in the ankle or footballer's ankle, which might settle with stretching and strengthening and icing. Probably won't hurt, at least.)

 

- Sanna

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  • 3 months later...

Hi,

 

just wanted to un-earth this old post, in case anyone else has a similar problem.

 

This summer, I went to a PT experienced in dance and treating dancers. Among other things, he noted that the pain at the front of the ankle was caused by the tendon of flexor hallucis longus being too tight and preventing the ankle joint from flexing properly. The FHL tendon wasn't tender, even, just tight along the lateral border of the calf.

 

He massaged the tendon and mobilized the ankle just once, for maybe 15 minutes, and lo! no more ankle pain. (OK, it came back since, because I have overworked the tendon in class.. but at least I know now what it is and how to work on it. :clapping:)

 

Bemusedly,

 

- Sanna

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