Medical City Dallas

Baylor, Scott & White Plano


The Truth about Dancers and Their Feet

They float across the stage, defying gravity by leaping and gliding along on their toes. Their movements are precise and graceful. Their legs and arms strike poses at seemingly impossible angles. Whether spinning or just standing still, they can balance their entire weight on the very tips of their toes. Ballet dancers are masters at making a challenging art form look easy. They also put their feet through incredibly high stress, whether wearing pointe shoes or not. This can put dancers at risk for injuries and painful problems like black toenails, bunions, tendonitis, and more.

Beautiful but Damaging

Ballet is a demanding art form. A dancer’s main tool is her feet. In flat shoes or bare feet, she must be able to balance on the ball of the foot and absorb the shock of frequent jumps. In pointe shoes, that stress is transferred to the tips of the toes. Even male dancers, who don’t use toe shoes but are expected to be able to perform rapid spins and high leaps, demand much of their lower limbs. Over time, the repeated strain can lead to overuse problems. Landing a jump incorrectly or falling while rehearsing can lead to traumatic injuries as well.

Repeated hard landings on the toes can cause micro-trauma in the nails, leading to black toenails. Blood pools under the hard tissue, darkening it, and often separates it uncomfortably from the nail bed. Pointe shoes notoriously rub the toes and heels, causing painful blisters to develop. Forceful jumps and multiple hard landings may lead to stress fractures, sesamoiditis, and tendonitis. A dance podiatrist has to work carefully with these artists to help them minimize their injuries and maximize the use of their feet—without requiring them to give up their art completely.

Offering Relief for Your Pain

Many dancers may be nervous about consulting experts like our staff here at Dallas Podiatry Works, concerned that they will be told to stop dancing. However, if you are a dancer and experiencing foot or ankle pain, you already know that the discomfort can negatively impact your performance both in class and on stage. If you don’t take steps to care for your lower limbs, those small and manageable problems may deteriorate into a condition that could end your ballet career. Dr. Joel W. Brook, Dr. David R. Northcutt, Dr. Irene Arroyo and Dr. John Baca will carefully evaluate your lower limbs and may request diagnostic images to check for damage to bones or other physical structures. Then they can help you develop a plan for recovery.

If you’ve developed painful black toenails, you may need to have the pooled blood drained to relieve the pressure on the tissues. Hard keratin that’s separated from the nail bed may need to be cut away to prevent tearing or catching on ballet tights. You also may benefit from replacing your toe shoe pads for ones with more cushioning. Bunions can benefit from putting padding in between the first and second digits so the big toe doesn’t displace inward too far. Lambs’ wool lining in your shoes can help protect against blisters, though you may still need to tape your toes. Icing your feet after classes, along with regular stretches and exercises to work the small muscles in your feet, can help relieve pain from fatigue and overuse. If you experience an injury after a bad landing, don’t wait to seek treatment from an experienced dance podiatrist.

If you’re a dancer at any level, you already know not to take your feet and ankles for granted. You know that you must train vigorously to build up the required strength, muscle memory, and control to be able to execute movements gracefully. When your lower limbs ache, however, your stability and grace are compromised. Take a bold leap and contact our expert staff here at Dallas Podiatry Works to find help for your feet and ankles. Fill out the website contact page or call either of our two offices: (972) 566-7474 for the Dallas location, or (972) 943-3323 for the Plano office.

"I did 3 EPAT treatments and it gave me tremendous relief from my plantar fasciitis. I highly recommend this for anyone who is dealing with PF. Also, the physical therapist Dr. Brook sent me too is fantastic. I am definitely on the mend and so glad I did EPAT."- All H. 5 star
"Dr Northcutt is a fantastic physician. My first surgery with him (although painful), went very well. A couple of issues (with his staff) needed to be corrected, I appreciated his calm and professional demeanor and he corrected those issues promptly. He sets the bar high (the mark of a great physician), and that is the key reason why I'm coming back to him to correct my other foot. I would highly recommend him."- She B. 5 star
"The staff at Dallas Podiatry Works could not have been more courteous, helpful, and professional in doing their job. They made me feel comfortable when I was there, which is certainly appreciated. They answered all the questions that I had and just made each visit the most pleasurable that it could be. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing this type of care."- Joseph B. 5 star
"My experience was a good one from pre-op to post -op. I saw the doctor right before my surgery.He explained the process to me and my husband. The recovery nurse was great. It was neither crowded or chaotic as some day surgery centers. My foot is doing well as I follow instructions. I look forward to my one week progress visit!"- Patricia T.5 star
"I had dealt with a painful foot problem for five months and had seen three different Doctors before seeing an article in D Magazine about Dr. Joel Brook. Dr. Brook took one look at my foot, explained the causes for my pain and set me up on a successful treatment plan. He is very knowledgeable, thorough and exhibits a caring attitude. I highly recommend him."- Ginger W. 5 star
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Join the 50,000 happy feet that have found relief at Dallas Podiatry Works! Our Dallas podiatrist and Plano podiatrist provides 5-star-rated foot care and ankle care. Our advanced foot care includes children's foot care, sports-related foot injuries, bunion treatment, bunion removal surgery, toenail fungus treatment, ingrown toenail treatment, hammertoe treatment, claw toe treatment, neuroma treatment, heel pain relief, limb salvage, wound care, arthritis treatment, safe pedicure, medicures, corn removals, callus removals, wart removals and more.
Come experience Dallas Podiatry Works of Dallas, TX and Plano, TX! You will see for yourself that our podiatrists, foot doctors and foot specialists provide 5-star-rated foot care in Dallas TX, Plano TX, Frisco TX, McKinney TX, Richardson TX, Garland TX, Rockwall TX, Allen TX, Arlington TX and Fort Worth TX. Call 972.566.7474 today.
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