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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Beginning Pointe & Shin Splints


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I'm so excited because this upcoming week I am performing the classical piece to "Giselle" in the Kat Wildish "Performing in NY" showcase at the Ailey Citigroup Theatre but I have a slight concern and was wondering if someone would have any advice...


The other day while taking a contemporary class I heard a slight pop in my left leg (where my shins are). I only felt a small pain afterwards and I iced it and wrapped it that same night and rested it all day yesterday.


A few weeks ago I started beginning pointe classes while here doing the Kat Wildish workshop where I do about 30 mins of barre pointe work and I wanted to take pointe today my friend advised against it as not to injure myself before the show. My concern is that today when we had rehearsal, I was dancing just fine but afterwards I still feel a slight tingle pain sensation now in both of my legs I guess were the shin is located. I have both legs wrapped now but I really want to make sure I take the rest of my pointe classes while I'm here because I leave NYC to head back to Atlanta after the show and I really like the way Kat teaches her pointe classes. What I'd like to know is what exactly would you advise that I do in this situation? I don't feel pain when I dance...only when I'm done dancing but the pain isn't unbearable it's just a little ting or slight burning sensation that comes for a few seconds then leaves. Is this something I should be concerned about?


I keep getting different opinions...some people are telling me since this is my first time doing pointe work at the barre there are muscles in my lower legs that I'm using that haven't been used before and I just need to stretch it out to make the slight pains go away...others have said that it could be shin splints and that I should take it easy so that I'll be able to get through the performances.

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I'm afraid we can neither diagnose or advise on medical matters here. It's the Internet: we can't see you!


If in any doubt, see your GP, or a physiotherapist, or a nurse experienced in sports/dance injuries.

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I wasn't looking for a diagnosis more so for information on whether shin splints are something that happens with beginning pointe work and if muscles normally feel different in that area when you're just beginning pointe or not?

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Shin splints happen to different people for different reasons. It may or may not be aggravated by pointe, but a lot of impact and the quality of your dance floor could also be the cause of shin splints (very often it's a combination of too much impact plus hard floors). I wouldn't necessarily pinpoint shin splints on pointe work, I find that petite allegro, grande allegro/jumping, and overuse to be more likely culprits.


You ought to get a diagnosis though. It might not even be shin splints.

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Also, "shin-splints" is often a catch all term for a variety of lower leg issues. Sometimes they are caused by technique and wear and tear, or other injuries can be acute (sudden onset) like your sounds - A medical practitioner is required to diagnose any injury or condition. Here is an article from a Dance Physio about the types of questions you should look to ask when you are trying to get at diagnosis http://www.theballetblog.com/article/causes-of-shin-pain/

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