Posts for: February, 2017
Doing an online search for the real effects of ballet shoes on the feet will likely bring up some pretty scary images. However, it shouldn’t scare you away from pursuing ballet—it is a beautiful and expressive form of dance that can be very rewarding. If you’re a ballerina or you’re thinking about enrolling your child in ballet classes, learn more about how ballet shoes can affect the feet. You can then take proper steps to protect your feet going forward.
Wearing Ballet Shoes
Ballet shoes are designed for utility, not for the benefit of your feet. They are made of canvas and silk material with lace straps that wrap around the ankles. Each shoe shapes the toes and feet so that they can be trained in a certain formation for dancing. Ballet dancers often have to get on tippy toes at a moment’s notice to keep up with choreography, so their shoes have to support this action, just as sneakers support the quick actions of tennis players.
What Can Ballet Shoes Do to Your Feet?
Podiatrists often treat ballerinas and other dancers who have serious foot problems. Here are a few issues that can develop as a result of wearing ballet shoes:
- Hammertoes (the toes begin to bend forward, and in some cases become stuck in that position).
- Corns, calluses
- Blisters, ulcers, sores and wounds
- Bunions (the bone on the inside of the foot begins to move outward)
- Nail fungus and sometimes loss of toenails
Many ballerinas suffer these foot problems in silence, but the best course of action is to begin seeing a qualified podiatrist early in your career. Ongoing care and foot therapy can help minimize the negative effects of ballet shoes on your feet.
Caring for Your Feet as a Ballerina
Treatments are available at the podiatrist’s office that can give your feet relief from the symptoms of dancing and wearing ballet shoes. Ulcers must be drained and disinfected. Hammertoes can be corrected with splints or prescribing orthotic shoes to wear when not dancing. Treatments are also available to eliminate toenail fungus. Another top goal of podiatry for ballerinas is pain management—exercises and medications can help relieve pain.
Getting help from a podiatrist is crucial if you want to reduce the negative effects of ballet shoes on your feet. It’s never too late to seek help from a foot professional who understands these issues, so schedule a consultation appointment today.
Find out whether you need to visit a foot doctor for the proper care you deserve.
What is a podiatrist? A podiatrist is a doctor that specializes in the prevention, detection and treatment of conditions that affect the feet, ankles and lower legs. Our Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA, podiatrists are here to treat patients of all ages, from young children dealing with flat feet to senior citizens suffering from nerve damage. Our goal is to improve a person’s quality of life and to make it easier to move around and stay active.
Whether you are dealing with serious issues or something more minor, we always have options for how to treat and manage your symptoms. Common ailments that we can help with include:
- Fungal nail infection
- Ingrown toenails
- Calluses and corns
- Flat feet
- Cracked feet
- Heel or foot pain
- Athlete’s foot
- Sports-related injuries
If you are dealing with pain or any of the issues above this is when you should visit our foot doctors who serve Ashburn, Fairfax, Reston and McLean, VA, so that no one has to go without the medical attention they need.
And even if your feet feel great it’s never a bad idea to consider coming in for a single visit to have feet cared for or to potentially detect something that could become an issue later on. Sometimes structural imbalances in the foot don’t initially cause symptoms. By being able to provide orthotics or recommend proper footwear we can prevent issues from happening.
If you have diabetes then you probably also know the importance of foot health. Even the smallest blister or wound could lead to serious complications. To prevent problems you’ll want to visit us regularly. We can make sure to treat small cuts, blisters and wounds and also properly trim toenails to prevent ingrown toenails.
If you are looking for foot care in Ashburn/Leesburg, Fairfax/Burke, Reston/Herndon or McLean/Great Falls, VA, then look no further than Family Foot and Ankle Center.
Call us at (703) 723-9267 (Ashburn), (703) 273-9818 (Fairfax), (703) 556-8637 (McLean) or (703) 723-2719 (Reston).
One common foot issue that often prompts patients to visit the podiatrist is hammertoe. Hammertoe is a foot condition that is not only painful, but also embarrassing for patients who want to wear certain types of shoes and show off their feet. Learn more about what causes hammertoe and how it can be resolved at your podiatrist’s office.
What Is a Hammertoe?
The muscles of your toe help keep it in proper alignment so that it lies straight, the same way that your fingers look when you lay them out on a table. But in some cases, the joints in the toe become weakened, causing the top end of the toe to bend forward. This is called hammertoe—it usually happens to one or all of the middle three toes of the foot. In some cases the hammertoe is flexible, meaning that the toe can be manually bent back up into position, but in other cases it is rigid and can’t be adjusted. Hammertoe makes it difficult or even impossible to comfortably wear and walk in everyday shoes.
What Causes Hammertoe?
Hammertoe is most commonly caused by wearing bad shoes for extended periods of time. It is a problem often found in women because they like to wear attractive high heels that do unfortunate things to their feet. The design of many high heeled shoes causes the feet and toes to push up against the rigid front and bend them into the shape of a hammertoe. In some cases, people are more prone to hammertoe due to genetics or because of medical condition, like diabetes.
Treatments for Hammertoe
The treatment plan of choice for hammertoe is a combination of foot exercises, physical therapy and custommade orthotic shoes or inserts. Placing a splint on the affected toe can also help it heal back into its correct position. If the area is painful, your podiatrist may also administer cortisone injections. In the case of rigid hammertoe, where you lose the ability to move the toe up or down, surgery may be necessary to fix the joint.
Hammertoe is an embarrassing foot problem, but the good news is that it can be corrected or relieved in most cases. It is best treated when you catch it in its early stages, so make an appointment with your podiatrist at the first signs of a bending toe.