Posts for: March, 2017
Dancing is a beautiful artistic endeavor, but, unfortunately, it can cause a number of footrelated conditions in the artist. If you’re a dancer, whether it’s for fun or your profession, learn more about dancing and how it can affect your feet. It’s wise to maintain regular appointments with a trusted podiatrist to ensure the ongoing health of your feet.
How Dancing Puts Wear and Tear on Your Feet
Some people don’t realize that dancing is a very demanding sport. Dancers put as much wear, tear and strain on their feet as sports athletes do. Ballerinas, in particular, have to manage a variety of foot and toerelated complications because of their shoes and the need to dance on tiptoes. Ballroom dancers also spend hours on their feet, performing complex movements that involve their feet, toes, ankles and legs. Even hiphop and step dancers often have problems due to putting frequent pressure on certain areas of the feet and stomping down on them.
Common foot conditions related to dancing include:
- Corns and calluses
- Bruises, wounds and ulcers around the toes or underfoot
- Hammertoe syndrome
- Heel spurs/plantar fasciitis
- Missing toenails
Pull Out Your “Dancing Shoes”
The shoes that you wear while dancing can have a major effect on the health of your feet. Invest in shoes or orthotics that are specifically designed for the type of dancing that you enjoy—even if they are a bit more expensive than what you find in regular stores. For instance, female ballroom dancers need highheeled dancing shoes that can absorb shock, cushion the heel and relieve pressure on the parts of the foot that often come in hard contact with the floor. Flexible orthotic insoles are available for ballet shoes that can help give the feet more support.
Foot Therapy for Dancers
Regular visits to your podiatrist are also crucial to keeping your feet healthy when you’re a dancer. Podiatrists can help by administering physical therapy and foot exercises designed to strengthen the tendons and muscles of your feet. Ice massage and soaking the feet can also help to relieve symptoms. A podiatrist may also prescribe NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications) for pain relief.
You can pursue the art of dancing without sacrificing the health and wellness of your feet. Schedule a visit with a podiatrist to talk about preventative solutions and relief of symptoms that you’re currently experiencing.
PAD, or Peripheral Arterial Disease, reduces blood circulation in the feet and legs. It can lead to a host of other serious physical problems if not treated and managed properly.
What is PAD?
PAD happens when the insides of the arteries experience a buildup of fatty deposits. Also known as plaque, these deposits reduce the blood flow to the legs and feet. Like the plaque that forms on your teeth, it is extremely detrimental to the tissues where it develops. The arteries harden and become narrow, a condition known as atherosclerosis. The disease presents as upper and lower leg pain during activity, foot or toe pain during rest, and ulcerated sores on your feet that heal very slowly. Some people do not experience pain, however.
As many as one in five Americans aged 70 and over are afflicted with this disease, and with it comes a markedly increased risk for death from a heart attack or stroke. Complications from PAD can also lead to amputations.
What causes PAD?
While diabetes and high blood pressure can exacerbate PAD, a person's habits can largely compound the problem. Smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and poor diet are all contributing factors to PAD and the complications that come with it.
How is PAD treated?
Your podiatrist will perform a simple test that compares the blood pressure in your arm with that in your ankle. An abnormality warrants other tests to determine how extensive your PAD is. It can then be managed with medicines designed to prevent blood clots and lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Lifestyle changes are a must smoking cessation, an exercise regimen and a healthful diet are essential. Advanced cases may require surgery.
PAD is a serious disease, but maintaining a relationship with your podiatrist and committing to a healthier way of life can help control its effects.