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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Right Ankle Pain

Guest scuffite

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Guest scuffite

My right ankle has become rather painful and loose recently. As of today, I have started wearing an ankle brace to hold it up, if not, it would wobble around the socket! And I think I will skip ballet class for tonight, just in case.


Historically, my right foot does not point (or even arch at all - it's rather flat!) as nicely as my left foot and even when I am making great effort to point my right foot, I would receive a correction that I am not pointing my right foot. As a result, I have been pushing my ankle to have my right foot point better. This includes for e.g. when doing tendu devant, lifting the ankle (rather than having it "sag") and having the heel face in a direction parallel to the floor rather than facing the floor, and constantly flexing my ankle to get a better arch. Whilst aesthetically it has improved, there was a little pain during class this past Saturday. It was still a little pain before class on Monday night but on Tuesday morning, it started to feel loose and I had to be really careful when using my right foot to walk, especially down the stairs. At the start of ballet class on Tuesday night, it was rather painful but miraculouly by the end of barre, the pain and the looseness had gone!! I continued with centre work which included assembles and jetes that landed on my right foot and it was totally fine. But a few hours after class, the pain and looseness came back.


Would any of you have experienced anything like that? I would like to know whether it is a bone thing or a muscle thing, or both! I am surprised that the pain and looseness disappeared during a ballet class.


In my teens, I spained this ankle a couple of times and just let it heal on its own with just a brace. Did not go to a physiotherapist. Maybe this caused my right foot to not flex naturally in the first place?


I know this is a long post of my problem - thanks for bearing with me!

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It sounds as though you may have had some persisting damage after those earlier sprains which may have become aggravated by your recent activity. If a brace works for you, by all means continue. You may find that contrast baths after class - a cold pack followed by a hot pack, may alleviate the pain somewhat, and that over-the-counter anti-inflammatories may also help.

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Hi scuffite


Also try not to wear your ankle support/brace for too long as it will weaken your muscles in the long run. You sound as though you may need to strengthen your ankle muscles, although only after your ankle has rested and it doesn't feel so painful. Although you should try and keep it mobile. The best exercise for improving ankle strength , and I think if you want to improve its flexibility you also need to improve its strength, is to grip a pen or place a pen between your toes and work your way through writing the letters of the alphabet on each foot.

I learnt to write my name!


Jeanette x

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest scuffite

Thanks everyone for your advice.


Just wanted to check in with my progress - the pain and looseness has totally disappeared! :P BUT, I think it is because I could not go for ballet classes since that last post due to unusually heave office work! :shrug:


Looks like I have to start controlling my bosses if I want to get any ballet activity! :bouncing:

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Guest Hilarie

You might also want to get a Theraband to do some ankle exercises with... they're basically big rubber band type things, and they're really good for strengthening ankles. Just make sure you get one that stretches really easily so that you don't injure yourself more from a too-tight Theraband :P


I know I've seen threads on here about what are good exercises for dancers to do with the Theraband, so maybe you could search for that (I'm at work so I don't have time to go looking for it just now :bouncing: ). There is also a book of Theraband exercises for dancers that is sold by Gaynor Minden, I believe, but they call it a Resistaband. You can order it on discountdance.com.

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