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Ballet Talk for Dancers

achilles problem


Guest toedancer23

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Guest toedancer23

My right achilles tendon has been hurting off and on for the last few days. (It hurts when I plié).

 

Cold packs and ibuprofen (and I was told glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can help...?) have helped a lot. I have searched the archives on tendinitis for more info. and saw where Ms. Leigh mentioned jumping without putting your heels down can cause this problem.

 

Are there any other reasons this can happen (I'm careful about placing my heels on jumps)? I'm attending an SI now where we have pointe every day - more than I'm used to - could this be it? (My TOES are fine, though!)

 

Besides ibuprofen and and cold packs I have put elastic on the backs of my pointe shoe ribbons to see if that helps, too. Does anyone have any more ideas on how to avoid this and/or how to help it go away?

 

Thank you!

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This is one where you're going to have to tell the administration of the intensive what you've just told us and see if they've got a physician on retainer, or at least a physical therapist. You will probably be told to rest for a few days while continuing the cold applications. It may even be necessary to wrap the affected area and keep it elevated as much as possible.

 

Don't try to "work through it" when the achilles tendon is involved. It will only aggravate the condition, and make the breakdown, when it comes, even more catastrophic. While over-the-counter pain killers are fine when taken as directed, I have not much confidence in dietary supplements not prescribed or recommended by a physician. They may be harmless, but they also may be useless.

 

There are scads of ways to inflame a tendon, and speculating here about which one has caused your problem, sight unseen,would be counterproductive.

 

You need a doctor, pronto! :(

 

[ 07-09-2001: Message edited by: Mel Johnson ]

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Guest Ballet_babe_123

you said that you had elastics on the back of your pointe shoes. This creates more tension on the achilles tendon. Could this be the reason for it? :confused:

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Guest Paquita

"Bunheads" sells elastics that you sew into your ribbons ( the part that goes around the back of your heel) to take pressure off the achilles...it's hard to explain, but they have ads in most dance magazines with a photo.

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  • Administrators

Pacquita, have you worked with this elastic on the ribbons thing? I have seen it on one or two people only, and I really have some questions about it. While it could be a positive thing, I'm just not real sure that it is. Would like some first hand information!

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Guest toedancer23

Ballet_babe_123, the elastic is not on my pointe shoes, it's on my shoe ribbons - the part that goes over my achilles tendon, like Paquita was describing.

 

Ms. Leigh, I can't honestly say that the elastic has helped my tendon, but it is MUCH better now. This is most likely due to rest, cold packs, and ibuprofen, though.

 

The elastic feels good and doesn't interfere with the fit of the shoe or my technique in pointe, so I think I'll keep them that way for a while. But I'd also like to hear from anyone else that has tried this - if there's a negative side, I'd like to know!

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  • Administrators

Okay, thanks toedancer. Let me know how you feel about it after you have worked with it longer. Right now my vote on that is still out, as I'm just not sure that it would be helpful.

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Guest Ballerinababe2006

I've heard that you can hurt your achilles by pointing your foot too hard or in a certain way. You can learn to pointe your foot without using your achilles. Maybe this is the problem? :confused:

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You can point the foot without using the achilles tendon? Not the way most of us are built! That is the connector between the gastrocnemius and the other smaller calf muscles to the point of the heel; there is no way(!) to point the foot without using the achilles tendon. Heck, you can't even walk without it!

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Guest Taryn

I had the same problem not too long ago. I agree that you should see a doctor for it but for some temporary relief I used a cream called Arnica Montana. I got it at a health store. As for the ribbons with elastics, I am curious about them. Does anyone use them who have noticed a large difference?

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A brief pharmaceutical note - arnica is an herb which produces an alkaloid which acts as a counterirritant in soft tissue damage. It's a little like using Ben-Gay or Tiger Balm or Absorbine Jr., but without the sharp aroma of the others. It's also a gentler, more durable "warming" that can be used AFTER a cold application.

 

The common name of the arnica plant is wolfsbane - wear and be safe from werewolves!

AAAHHHHH - OOOOOOOOooooo! ;)

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Guest Paquita

No, I've never tried the ribbon elastic things. Because I've always have problems with my heel slipping out of my shoe ( my foot is narrow, but I use ouch pouches which make the front of my foot wider but then the shoe is often looser around the heel). I'm worried that with the elastics attached to the ribbons, that they would strech and not hold as well... but for dancers with achilles problems it sounds like a good idea.

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Guest hesterlover1

I've used the Bunheads elastic ribbons (Bloch also makes them). I don't have Achilles tendonitis but I just wanted to try them, since a friend of mine really liked them. I think they are more comfortable and your pointe shoe ribbons don't feel so tight, but since I don't have a problem with my Achilles, I am fine with or without them. I do know dancers with Achilles tendonitis who say they help a LOT, though. My opinion is if you have Achilles problems, use them, and if they're not necessary, you don't need to bother. However, they don't hurt or interfere with technique if you do wear them. HTH!

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  • 2 years later...
Guest emandell
A brief pharmaceutical note - arnica is an herb which produces an alkaloid which acts as a counterirritant in soft tissue damage.  It's a little like using Ben-Gay or Tiger Balm or Absorbine Jr., but without the sharp aroma of the others.  It's also a gentler, more durable "warming" that can be used AFTER a cold application. 

 

The common name of the arnica plant is wolfsbane - wear and be safe from werewolves!

AAAHHHHH - OOOOOOOOooooo!  ;)

Aconite is a slightly more formal name for the alkaloid. Warning! It's quite toxic, so don't swallow it or put it on a wound. And be sure to wash your hands.

 

Dr. Mom

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