Foot problems related to ballet

By | April 4, 2021


A ballet dancer’s professional career is relatively short and not without its share of pain and injuries. Unfortunately, many dancers reject the treatment of fear and thus create more problems that can end their careers too soon. Knowledge of foot problems, plus care and treatment is important for the dancer.


Because ballet dancers must ‘feel’ the floor, they wear leather speakers that provide some protection or support. So a dancer’s shoes lead to several foot problems. Sesamoiditis, when the small bones and tendons connected to the big toe (sesamoids) become stressed or even cracked, can cause pain under the foot ball. Almost all dancers will experience bunions, the bony bump on the edge of the big toe joint. Bunions can be painful and often swelling occurs. In addition, the constant friction between the toes and shoes can make bunions worse. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia, a dense band of tissue that extends from the heels to the toes, is strained through overuse. Pain on the inside of the heel and arch indicates this foot problem. Nueromas, which can feel like burning or stabbing pains that shoot from the foot to the toes, are caused by the nerves squeezing between the toes. The nerves can become swollen and even permanently scarred. Stress fractures are always a problem for dancers and can occur in any bone. However, the most common bone in the foot that is affected by stress fractures is the second metatarsal. The area may be tender and later show signs of swelling. Achilles tendonitis is another common foot problem among dancers. As the Achilles tendon goes down the leg to the heel, the pain presents itself in the heel of the foot with tightness, tenderness and swelling in the tendon.


A dancer should be extra careful when buying dance shoes, replace worn shoes immediately. Dancers should also seek medical attention at the first sign of pain and / or injury.


Dancers can risk serious and long-term injury by pushing through the pain associated with many foot problems. It is important to see a doctor who understands the challenges and needs of the professional dancer. For example, bunion surgery should be avoided during the dancer’s career as it can adversely affect the movement of the movement.

Prevention / Solution

Most foot problems can be solved with the help of anti-inflammatory medication, ice treatment and rest. Often, tapping on the affected area can lead to relief. It is imperative for a dancer to wear properly fitted dance shoes as well as street shoes. Equally important for dancers is proper nutrition. Lack of sufficient calories, fat and calcium leads to poor bone density, making a dancer much more susceptible to stress fractures. Ballet dancers have experienced foot problems since the first dancer pressed his foot in a pointe shoe. The combination of several factors, such as repetition of certain dance exercises, as well as the structure of pointe shoes, can cause serious foot injuries for ballet dancers, both male and female.