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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Achilles Tendon Questions


Guest haylee

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to ms Leigh:

 

thank you very much for your concern and advice. Meanwhile I have decided to take it easier on dance.

 

do you know of any websites in which these conditions (bursitis, tendonitis) are explained in detail? Especially concerning ballerinas.

 

thanks

silvy

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Victoria Leigh

I think you can find a lot of information about the two conditions, but doubt that you will find any that is specifically related to dancers. Just go to Google, or any search engine, and type in the condition, and it should pull up a number of different medical websites for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

to ms Leigh:

 

I want to update you on my injury, as you have asked me.

Yesterday I finally took the ecography to the doctor, and he advised me to stop for 4 weeks, not take antiinflamatory drugs unless I was in pain, to continue with the physio and to do some strenghtening exercises. He said that he cud eventually take the liquid out of the bursa, but that if it cud be avoided, it was better.

 

Yesterday I asked a Russian teacher with whom I am taking class and explained to her my problem. She said that it is not good for dancers to stop altogether, that doctors who treat football players maybe do not know much about dancers (which is the case of this doctor) but to keep working carefully (avoiding releves and pointe work), because she said that if I stop I will lose muscle tone.

 

what do you think?

 

by the way, somehow i am not too worried now!!!

 

:)

 

silvy

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Victoria Leigh

Silvy, is the problem achilles tendonitis, or is it bursitis? If there is fluid in the bursa, and that is causing the problem, then I don't see why they won't drain it. However, in either case, dancing with it is NOT going to make it better. I just question the validity of waiting 4 weeks if they could drain it and make the problem go away???

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  • 3 years later...
Guest Shdwdrgn

I've been having problems with one foot lately. If I point my toe and press up on my heel, I feel a sharp pain in my achilles. Also noticing this if I point and turn my toe sharply inward. My instructor thinks my achilles needs more execise and provided me with a latex strap and some instructions on the proper way to extend my toe into a point.

 

Well I've been trying to exercise my foot every day, but it's been hurting for over a month and I'm noticing the pain in basic moves like releves. I asked my doctor about it when I was there the other day, and he agreed that the advise was sound. It's just frustrating that it hasn't gotten even slightly better (fortunately it hasn't gotten worse either). It's very hard to keep trying to exercise it when I don't seem to be getting any results for my efforts.

 

So I'd like some advice. Anyone here had similar problems? Have any good info to pass along that will actually make some difference? I only take a beginner class once a week right now, so I can't imagine that I'm over-stressing anything, and even though I have a desk job, I am constantly on my feet in the evenings, working on projects in the garage and the yard. I just don't know what to do that will give some positive results.

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Mel Johnson

That sounds almost like an impingement, which can be brought on by forces outside the ballet studio, too. Of course, it could be dancer's heel, too, or even the beginnings of os trigonum trouble. Get thee to a podiatrist, and get a workup on what's happening to your feet and ankles.

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missvjc420

I am going through some Achilles issues myself, and my ND thinks it has to do with very tense calf/ lower leg muscles. I took a week off of dancing just in case, and RICEd my achilles area. I would ask a moderator to move this to Health and Nutrition or to contact Babsroo, our lovely and helpful health professional moderator, and see what she has to say. I wouldn't turn my toes in.

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When I've had achilles problems in the past, I've found that the only real "solution" to the problem is resting them, even just for a few days or a week. Any sort of injury to the area can be quite painful and it's no fun making it worse. If you're on your feet very often, as you said you were, it could be stress on the lower from many other factors as well.

 

I'm no professional, but stretching the area regularly can help. The advice your teacher and doctor gave you about the exercises with a theraband or theraband like product really can work, but it does take time.

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Guest Shdwdrgn

Erg. I don't know what most of that means. I've only been practicing ballet since January. As for turning in my toes - I don't normally, but I noticed it when rolling my ankle around to loosen it up.

 

My calf muscles are pretty strong, and it's been a long time since I've had any cramps in them.

 

Going to a podiatrist... is it really possible that I could have done so much damage in so little time? I don't know that I feel this is really such a big problem, and I hate to cry wolf. I guess I did ask for advice though. I'll probably try to get after those stretches (maybe doing them more than once a day) and reserve the podiatrist trip until it really seems like nothing else is helping.

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If I point my toe and press up on my heel

 

I'm not quite following this...

 

Do you mean that it hurts to releve?

 

Sometimes, people with tight calf muscles will get pain that feels like achilles tendonitis. Since you say you have strong calf muscles, and even a history of cramping, maybe you need to stretch them more? I've noticed that beginner ballet students don't use plie very well when they are dancing :clapping: Maybe you're trying so hard to "pull up" in ballet, that you're not quite using the plie effectively. This will take a long time to really "get" (everything in ballet takes forever). So for now, just try stretching out your calf muscles gently before and after every exercise to keep everything "in balance".

 

Something real simple like the picture at the bottom of this webpage might help. I do this all the time during class, while holding onto the barre. Don't be afraid in class to do this between the barre and center exercises your teacher gives. It's ok, as long as you still pay attention :clapping: I find it's better to do these things during class, rather than at a different time during the week. Keeps everything balanced and good.

 

http://www.runnersrescue.com/Running_Calf_...rain_Injury.htm

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Mel Johnson

Actually, when you have Achilles' tendon problems, the first instruction is REST! And that means doing as little with the Achilles' as possible. Don't try to stretch it, that will make it worse! I don't know whether the problem you are feeling now is related to ballet, or if ballet just let you discover it. I suspect the latter strongly. It may come from things you've been doing your whole non-dancing life!

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Mel Johnson

And "dancer's heel" is a common terminology for a percussion injury to the area just above the heelbone. It can be caused by doing pointework on a too-hard floor, but it's not limited to that causation at all. People get it from running, and even sometimes from skating.

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Mr. Johnson,

 

Out of curiousity, could you explain more about dancer's heel? Symptoms, etc?

 

(Yes yes, there is google which I will use, but I specifically appreciate your knowledge of how different types of injuries affect dancers in particular....)

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

Ami

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Mel Johnson

Dancer's heel is an inflammation above the heelbone at the point where the foot joins the ankle, most often caused by repeated percussion. It is most often manifested by a pain which seems to come from deep inside the Achilles' tendon when the foot is pointed. A podiatrist can identify the condition, an orthopedist can provide the most in-depth treatment.

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