Tuesday, September 1, 2009

ballet health: the way its suppose to be

many wonderful dancers get a sickness that kills them, or they get a sprained ankle or operation that won't let them dance anymore. and that breaks a loving dancer's heart. here, i will post some good tips from the website www.finearticles.com in the art section. here is the lovely article posted from that website:

Sprains, fractures, and tendinitis are foot injuries common to both ballet and modern dancers. But several injuries sustained by ballet dancers are peculiar to dancing on pointe; ironically, many modern dance foot injuries are caused by the lack of protection provided by shoes. Here we will discuss the most common pointe-related injuries; in a future issue we will discuss foot injuries in modern dancers.

Toenail Ailments

Of the twenty-five hundred professional ballerinas I have treated, I can't recall one who didn't have "abnormal" toenails. Pounding on the toe tip for up to six hours per day will cause adaptive thickening, which is desirable. When factors overpower this thickening, problems result. The most common causes of toenail problems in the ballerina are improper maintenance, fungus, and getting stepped on or dropped hard during partnering.

Good maintenance includes cutting nails close to the quick in the center, then straight across out to the edges. Nails cut short of the skin corners may become ingrown. If your corners are presently too short, round each one slightly with an emery board. Once your nail grows ever so slightly beyond the corner, maintain this length with an emery board two or three times a week. Another aspect of good maintenance is making sure that your pointe shoes fit properly.

Many pointe dancers suffer from nails that bruise, which can range from a temporary soreness all the way to an acute, bloody loosening of some or all of the nail plate. To reduce the chances of bruising from impact or jamming, keep the center of the nail trimmed close to the quick.

If your nail becomes loose, it may tear and get infected. To prevent tearing in a nail that has been loose for a while, cut all the loose nail away at the attachment site. First aid for freshly torn nails starts with gentle cleansing in soapy, warm water. Next, douse the site with a skin disinfectant such as Betadine or Povidone (unless you're allergic to iodine, which both of these products contain), and cover it with a Band-Aid (not too tightly), In most cases of nail tearing, however, you should probably see a podiatrist.

Some dancers live with a partially torn nail by avoiding pointe for a few days and thereafter taping the loose nail down with a Band-Aid (only the non-sticky part should touch the nail, please) until a new nail plate forms underneath, which often takes at least three months. Viscous lidocaine, a topical painkiller used by dentists and acquired by some dancers, masks pain in infected skin conditions. I have seen this result in blood poisoning, a medical emergency requiring hospitalization. (In fact, any painkiller used continuously for any condition is inadvisable.) If the pain is severe and unrelenting, or if your torn or ingrown nail is getting hot, swollen, fiery red, or odorous, see a professional as soon as possible.

If your nail is very yellow and brittle and a good bit at the end is loose, you may have a fungal infection. These are extremely common in dancers, because shoe trauma can initiate and perpetuate fungus growth. Because they recur, fungal infections are very difficult to treat. Topical anti-fungal medications usually yield unsatisfactory results. Intelligent hygiene will minimize the likelihood of contracting a fungal infection: Keep your feet dry and don't use someone else's nail clippers.


Like hair and nails, corns are a skin secretion composed of the protein keratin. They are produced at pressure-sensitive sites. Because corns are so pointy, and because they continue to build at pressure sites, they can become painful. In some cases, they actually perforate the base skin on which they rest, creating an ulcer that gets infected. An infected corn looks swollen and red and is usually hot and painful. An infected corn is especially dangerous if it is between the third and fourth toes, an area in which many dancers have a certain degree of numbness--nerves are susceptible to pinching at this site. Anything that looks like an infected pimple between the toes but, curiously, doesn't hurt warrants a professional visit. Regardless of location and regardless of how much it hurts, if your corn looks infected it should be treated by a professional.

If you don't have an infected corn but suffer from chronic discomfort at these hard-skin sites, here is some advice. First and foremost, check the fit of your pointe shoes. Inspect the underside of your old pointe shoes. If the did pattern at the back of your heel extends more than one inch beyond the end of the shank, your pointe shoes are probably too small. Experiment at the barre with a half-size larger shoe. Also, remember that feet get bigger over the years. It is not unusual for a ballerina to develop corns later in her career because her feet have grown and she's wearing the same size pointe shoes she wore at seventeen.

Shoes may also not fit properly if one of your feet is substantially larger than the other. You can check this by standing on a big piece of paper and having someone draw one line at the hindmost part of your heel and another at the tip of your longest toe. (Make sure that the person measuring keeps the pencil completely vertical.) If there is more than a half-inch difference, you need a different size shoe for each foot.

Thats all i really need to publish on here (for copyright) if you want to see the full article, then go to this link: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1083/is_n4_v68/ai_14986740/

i hope you enjoyed this post! and for those good dancers out there, good luck, and be a healthy dancer!!

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