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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Achilles Tendon Questions


Guest haylee

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  • Victoria Leigh

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Victoria Leigh

Haylee, this is not a pointe SHOE topic, so I'm moving it to the Adult Board, where you normally post.

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Victoria Leigh

Haylee, if your tendons are hurting then they are being strained. This should not happen. It could be that you are over pointing your feet, like working them TOO hard, and not using the energy through the legs to pointe the feet. It could also be a hard floor in the studio. It could be the work itself, if there is too much jumping or too many relevés for your strength level. I have no way of knowing the cause, but you need to try and figure it out. Check the floors first, and be sure that they are properly sprung. If so, then investigate how you are working, and also the material you are working on. In the meantime, when you finish class, ice them, and, if they are hurting in class then DO NOT JUMP, and DO NOT DO POINTE WORK. If it is chronic, or gets worse, then you need to stop completely for a while. Keep icing, and take some anti-inflammatories like Advil, Aleve, or basic Ibuprofen.

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Related to the subject, I have a question.

Since about 15 minutes ago, my achilles hurts me. I can't stand on demi-pointe and can't stretch my foot properly.

I have had a rehearsal yesterday, which means that I was on pointeshoes for 3 hours. Could that be the cause of my problem??

Also, what can I do to prevent it next time (if this is the case) and how can I treat it??

Thanks in advance,

 

~SKIP~

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Guest maria_roche

If you are suffering from difficulties with your achilles tendon, are you actually warming it up and stretching it before class properly?

 

My dance teacher says we should in no way rely on plies to do this for us, but should gently stretch the tendon before class.

 

This might help!

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Victoria Leigh

Skip, tendenitis is usually cumulative, that is, it is from repetitive stress and happens over a period of time and not from one moment in time. Therefore, just being in pointe shoes for 3 hours, if you are strong and normally do a lot of pointe work, would not do it. However, if the strain had been developing, that could have made it become aggravated enough to really flare up. When there is enough pain there to not be able to work your foot then it is obviously time for treatment, as well as a visit to your favorite orthopedic doc. In the meantime, the same advice as given above, rest it, ice it, elevate it, and take some anti-inflammatory medication. I did not say RICE because I would not use compression on the achilles tendon.

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Thanks to both of you for your quick replies!

At the moment, the pain is that bad anymore, but if I follow my leg down (or up) from my calf to my heel, I feel that it is 'bobbly wobbly' (I don't know how to say it otherwise), compared to my other foot.

As for the cause, at the moment we do a lot of pointework and I didn't have problems with it at all. We always have a good warm up (with / without pointes).

Ms Leigh, what do you mean by elevate it. I know a translation of elevation which means 'jumping / getting of the floor' and this of course is not good to do!!

 

Thanks in advance anyway,

 

~SKIP~

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Victoria Leigh

Skip, sounds like there is some inflammation there. I think seeing a doctor, preferably a dancers' orthopedic doctor or at least a sports medicine specialist, would be in order.

 

Elevation means to raise the injured, or inflammed part of your body above the heart level. Easy to do with a leg or foot smile.gif Whenever possible at least keep it from being down when you are sitting. Put it on another chair, or sit on a sofa with it up. Try not to walk much and stay off of it as much as possible.

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Thanks Ms. Leigh for your quick reply.

I might have used the wrong word with 'bobbly wobbly', but what I exactly meant, was that you could feel that it was thicker (maybe a little swollen).

If it doesn't hurt to walk, is it ok to walk??

As for your advice to go and see a doctor, I don't have the chance anymore to do that before Tuesday. At the moment, it is 4 o clock and I have an audition on Monday (I have to leave Sunday to be there in time).

 

~SKIP~

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In addition to the wonderful answers already provided, I would like to mention the challenge that many dancers have in balancing/standing properly in pointeshoes on the flat ! Many times dancers wobble and roll-in (pronate) and roll-out (supinate). When this happens, strain can be placed on the Achilles' tendon in the form of twisting. Usually the fascia (outer covering) of the tendon is affected first, which can occur more quickly than 'true' tendonitis, which, as Ms. Victoria pointed out, is more gradual.

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pmballerina

Hi I have also been having my achilles tendon hurt.I have 4 teachers and it seems that the only time it hurts is when I have this one teacher.He has us do like 16 releves on pointe and then like 32 eleves and then he has us go full pointe to demi pointe like 16 times.Could it be that he's just having me do to many?I just started pointe like 5 months ago and he says he does them to strenghthen our ankles which I understand but is to many? Could this be why my achilles tendon only hurts in his class?

 

~Jocelyn~

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pmballerina

OH sorry Mel and Victoria I hope it's Ok that I wrote on this board but I was having that same problem so I figured I should just write on it. Well sorry in advance if it's not OK smile.gif

 

~Jocelyn~

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Mel Johnson

With only five months under you, all that relevé/elevé action sounds a little excessive. If not tendonitis, you'll at least experience fatigue of the foot and ankle, which if repeated over time, can bring on or aggravate tendonitis. frown.gif

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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest bgeronimo

ms leigh,

 

my achilles tendons have also started hurting since last month. it hurt again since my class last saturday and up to today, there is a little pain even when im standing. i have no idea if i'm working to foot too hard or if the floor is too hard. how can you tell if the floor is properly sprung?

 

the other studio i go to has a temporary studio (a big studio is being constructed at the moment). the temporary studio's flooring is made of...hold your breath...concrete!

 

also, you mentioned RICE in one of your replies. what is RICE?

 

thanks.

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Victoria Leigh

bcg, the worst thing you can do is dance on a concrete floor. If you are having tendon problems, this is definitely the most likely cause. You must not dance on that floor any longer. As to the other studio, if you can't see that it is raised, then ask the director if the floor is sprung or not.

 

RICE is rest, ice, compression, elevation. For achilles tendon do not use compression, but do everything else. Also some anti-inflammatory medication, like Advil, Aleve, Ibuprofen should help. If it is not better in a few days, see an orthopedic doctor.

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