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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Bunion pain?

PSB Ballerina

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I have been en pointe for 2 months now. I have Bloch axis pointe shoes and I've had no problems so far. However, my last pointe class I got a sharp pain in the bunion area on one of my bunions on my left foot. It progressed so I had to grip the barre to try and relieve some of the pressure. Is this bunion pain? I have spacers but is there any other solution? Should I look into new pointe shoes if this progresses?

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It's time to see a doctor. There is a tendon in that gets inflamed in that area and it can cause issues.. Not that I'm saying that's what it is as I'm not a doctor, but just saying you need to see a doc now.

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Yes. Absolutely. The pain scale works like this:


Every day, dancers evaluate how their bodies are feeling, and rate the pains. So let's say I have a bad knee- most days it it a '3' on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being no pain at all,5 being pretty much front-and-center of all of your thoughts, and 10 being it's time to go to the ER NOW pain. So during class today, I land funny in a jump, and suddenly, for the rest of the day, I am struggling to get my mind off the knee- it hurts, and it's reminding me constantly.


That means the pain level I previously felt has jumped up 2 points, and it's time to see a doctor, today not tomorrow. That will keep my bad knee from becoming a permanent career-ender.


In your case, you had no pain, now you have sharp pain; that's 2 points up the pain scale and time to see a doc.

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  • 2 months later...

I have bunion issues too. I wear Freed Classics, and during class/rehearsal my toes don't hurt much, but my bunions give me SO MUCH PAIN. :o I tried lightly wetting the sides of my shoes to soften them around the area, and it helped a bit, but I still feel this pain. I read an article in an issue of Pointe magazine where a dancer said that cosmetic sponges helped alleviate bunion pressure better than spacers and I decided to try those, which helped a bit as well. However, after a few hours en pointe my toes felt numb from too much padding and I had trouble dancing because of the pain. I'm still not sure what to do about the pain . . . Should I try a different maker (The maker I use is Maltese Cross) I like the Classics, so the only thing bothering me is the bunion pain. Any tips on padding for bunion relief?

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First off, we'd need to sort through why you're having the bunion pain in the first place. Bunions are typically hereditary, but technique issues can certainly contribute to causing problems as well. Shoes that are too narrow or too tapered can cause compression too.


I would need to see pictures of your feet before I could help you figure this out. You may post on the Pointe Shoe Forum with a link to pictures of your feet, and there is a sticky at the top of that forum that will explain what photos to take. Check with your parents to be sure they are ok with it.

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