• Common Foot Problems for Salsa and Flamenco Dancers

    by Dr. LaMour
    on Apr 29th, 2015

San Antonio’s annual Fiesta brings with it over a week’s worth of fun and festive activities that highlight the unique blend of Mexican, Spanish and Texan culture that the city is known for. Now that this year’s Fiesta has ended, all you avid salsa and flamenco dancers may be feeling the pain of attending a flurry of dance-filled events. In this edition of our continuing series featuring common foot problems for dancers, we’ll focus on some of the foot woes typically experienced by salsa and flamenco dancers.

Metatarsalgia – This condition sounds extreme, but it’s a common complaint among salseros and flamenqueros. Simply stated, metatarsalgia is pain that occurs in the ball of the foot. Many salsa and flamenco moves require dancers to place their weight on the front part of their feet. This is even more true for dancers who wear heels. Overuse of the muscles and joints in this area of the foot eventually results in pain that can last long after the music and dancing has stopped. Applying ice to and massaging the balls of the feet can help alleviate the pain, while foot stretches can help strengthen the affected muscles. Your podiatrist can also prescribe orthotics to wear with your dancing shoes that will help cushion and relieve some of the pressure on the ball of your foot.

Plantar fasciitis – This condition is one of the most common causes of heel pain, even among non-dancers. Dancers typically develop plantar fasciitis due to overuse – hours of practice and dancing the night away are usual culprits. The fascia – a band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes – becomes inflamed, which results in noticeable pain that can worsen over time. Tight calf muscles or a taut Achilles tendon can also contribute to the issue. To alleviate the pain, rest and ice are the first line of defense. Stretches that loosen the calf, ankle, and foot muscles are recommended before and after dancing sessions. If the pain persists or becomes intense, your podiatrist may recommend pain meds or physical therapy.

Bunions – One of the more serious conditions of the foot, a bunion is a deformity of the bone and joint in the big toe. Early symptoms include pain in the big toe or the ball of the foot under the big toe. The pain usually increases over time and may be more severe when dancing or when pressure is applied to the toe. Too-tight shoes can be a cause, but many bunion sufferers have an underlying problem with the structure of the foot. Without treatment, bunions will get worse, and may end up needing to be corrected with surgery. Your doctor may prescribe orthotics, splints, or toe spacers to help alleviate pain and keep the condition from worsening.

Corns, Calluses, and Hyperkeratosis – Hard dance floors, powerful percussive stomps, and non-cushioned dancing shoes can all contribute to the build up of hard skin that characterizes corns, calluses and hyperkeratosis. The hardened skin forms as a response to repeated friction on the affected area. Most of the time, these conditions can be treated by relieving the source of friction or with over-the-counter solutions. However if you have poor circulation or diabetes, you should see your doctor instead of attempting to treat these conditions yourself.

Are you an avid salsa or flamenco dancer with frequent or recurring foot problems? Don’t try to dance through the pain. Make an appointment with us today!

Original source: http://www.drjefflamour.com/sports-injuries/common-foot-problems-for-salsa-and-flamenco-dancers/

Author Dr. LaMour

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