How Ballet Affects Your Feet


If you’ve watched ballet dancers perform, you can’t help but wonder how they are able to be so graceful in their seemingly impossible movements. They stretch and lengthen beyond what we could ever imagine. And don’t forget the incredible movements they achieve while en pointe!

You can be quite sure then, that their feet and ankles are incredibly strong and flexible. While many of us can sprain our feet just by tripping on an uneven surface, ballet dancers are probably way more nimble and able to prevent these types of injuries.

On the flip side, though, there is an ugly truth behind achieving the title of a prima ballerina. Not only do you have to put in years and years of hard work, you also have to carefully prevent and treat foot and ankle problems that will inevitably rise. The “ugly” part, is a literal description – the toes and feet can become bloody and deformed because of all the unnatural pressures of being on tiptoe.

Those who practice ballet or perform professionally can encounter issues like:

●       Black, broken, and/or ingrown toenails

●       Corns and calluses

●       Bunions

●       Sesamoiditis

●       Hammertoes

●       Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendonitis

●       Fractures and broken bones

Oftentimes, ballet dancers are not even seen by a podiatrist until injuries or problems have become serious. Sometimes that’s the case because an injury can mean sitting out for an entire season. Those who do not keep performing may have to give up their leading roles that they have worked so hard for. In fact, some dancers will continue dancing on repetitive use injuries, like strains and sprain, or even fractured bones, just to keep their parts!

If you have been reading our blogs, you know that our podiatrists would encourage you to seek treatment before foot or ankles problems become worse. An ingrown toenail can turn into a severe and painful infection and an Achilles tendon injury can rupture if overused without rest.

For all you ballet dancers out there, we encourage you to take time to rest and heal properly when you notice an injury. We hope you will receive prompt care from your podiatrist when problems begin so that they don’t become issues that take you out of the performance season completely! If you have an injury or foot and ankle problem from dancing, make an appointment with our podiatrists at The Podiatry Group. Our team of dedicated foot doctors can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office.