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Foot problems
Posted by Caroline
1/3/2005  8:28:00 PM
Hi! I've been dancing for a couple years and having problems with my feet that are getting in the way of my progress--things like low arches, a tendency to roll my foot out, pain in the ball of the foot, etc. Has anyone had a good experience with podiatry? Does anyone wear orthotics when dancing? I'd love to hear from other dancers with foot problems before I invest time and money. Thanks!
Re: Foot problems
Posted by Laura
1/3/2005  9:35:00 PM
I took ballet for a while after I started ballroom to help strengthen my feet, and also started seeing a Feldenkrais pracitioner who worked on training me to be aware of how I use my feet and then on how to improve them through special exercises. This, and finally finding shoes that worked for me, helped me immeasureably. I used to have ball of foot pain and knee pain, and it's all gone now.

It's not an overnight cure though -- it took me about six years of trying to find the ultimate shoes for me in terms of fit etc, and the physical retraining via Feldenkrais took about a year.
Re: Foot problems
Posted by phil.samways
1/4/2005  4:04:00 AM
Hi Caroline
I'm an older person, but have played much sport all my life and dance competitively now. I've had lots of foot problems, so my advice to you is:
1)Find a really good physiotherapist - ask local sports teams who they use, or ask around - to assess your whole movement.
2)The problem may not be coming from your feet - it may be posture related, the physio will be able to sort that out
3)As Laura says, any remedial treatment will take time, though knowing you have a solution will improve your motivation greatly, and a year could see great improvement
4)Yes - people do wear orthotics while dancing. Get some good practice shoes. All my little niggling foot problems disappeared when i bought some practice shoes from Supadance (by the way - thanks Supadance, if you're reading this). If you need orthotics, the physio will tell you
5)If you're given strengthening exercises or flexibility exercises to do, make sure you DO THEM. I know this sounds silly, but i have friends who get advice from a physio and ignore it.
6)Keep dancing!!
Re: Foot problems
Posted by Slowfox
1/4/2005  7:43:00 AM
Hi Caroline!

Just one more information...I had a lot of feet an knee troubles too and I solved this problem with
- yoga to strenghen the feet
- 1cm lower heels.

I had so terrible pains, that I sometimes could not sleep at night. It took about four weeks daily yoga practice to strengthen feet and knees and now every problem is gone.

But however you need a bit of patience do not expect any wonder overnight.

I Hope you will feel better soon!
Re: Foot problems
Posted by phil.samways
1/4/2005  11:23:00 AM
hi slowfox
i'd be very interested in the exercises you did to strengthen your feet. Is there a good book? I tried a yoga class here but was NOT AT ALL impressed. I think yoga classes can be as hit-and-miss as buying a second-hand tube of toothpaste.
Incidentally, my ankle problems were solved by inserting small heel raisers. I still wear them for sport, including dancing.(i'm a male)
It's essential to go to a really good physiotherapist who will assess the problems
Re: Foot problems
Posted by boston2step
1/5/2005  4:19:00 AM
Hi Caroline - Sorry to hear of yiou have foot problems. Rolling out of the feet is called "over pronation" for which you can get a shoe to suit. low arches can be dealt with by special inserts - your supplier should be able to help with this. Pain in the balls of the feet is probably a knock on effect of low arches. we have a saying in athletics - to cure pain in the hips look lower down. In other words where pain is felt is rarely the site of the problem. My feet have had nearly seven decades of usage & are still servicable.
Good luck in your dancing
Re: Foot problems
Posted by Don
1/6/2005  7:36:00 PM
From one who has never had any foot problems some advice. Do as many as you can, whenever you can. Walks foreward and backwards, foxtrot tempo, all slows.You don't need a partner, or you can have a travelling companion by your side. One rule I did break was when going foreward I looked down at my feet to check that they were straight. I needed to. The up and down the floor ritual was a must in the studio that I first went to. Everybody did it and plenty of it. We had to concentrate on our back foot as well as the front foot and to make sure we used the whole of the foot, from heel to toe on both feet. I think this might have made the feet and ankles stronger right from the beginning
Just by the by. A friend of mine went to a Latin practice night in the UK, the session began at eight. Rumba music was played continuously before the start. And these people who you usually only see in major competition and on tapes. What were they doing ? Thats right Rumba Walks up and down the floor.
Re: Foot problems
Posted by Helen Andrade
9/16/2008  9:05:00 AM
Yes, I have had bunions, arthritis and 2 surgeries. Wearing Bloch Dance Sneakers helps plus orthotics that are thin enough to fit inTO my shoes. Make sure that they are tailored for that and take the original sole of the shoe out.

Helen Andrade

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