The Story of Dancer’s Feet: It Doesn’t Have to End Ugly

The Story of Dancer’s Feet:
It Doesn’t Have to End Ugly

Interestingly, when many of my dancer patients point down at their bulbous bunions, aching arches, screaming heels and painful petunias, they usually smirk, shrug their shoulders and say, “Dancer’s feet.”
With any dance-form (Latin, Classical, Modern, Folkloric, etc.) discomfort at some point is normal, but suffering prolonged pain and deformity however, are not. The key to preventing and recovering faster from foot injuries often lie in focusing on the small, stabilizing muscles of the foot or intrinsic muscles. There are over 20 intrinsic muscles in the foot that work in with tendons and ligaments in order to support the foundation of the foot. When these muscles fatigue or weaken the larger extrinsic muscles take over which could eventually lead to other injuries due to muscle compensation.

When I suspect weak, intrinsic muscles to be the culprit of a dancer’s foot pain, I commonly prescribe 3 exercises:

1) Yoga Toe’s Neutral
2) Standing towel crunches
3) Warrior III yoga pose

These three valuable, yet simple exercises can compliment almost any workout program and, when done properly, can be a great preventative tool.

Brooklyn Body Works
Physical Therapy

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