Forum: Irish / Irish

Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries! (karma: 5)
By TheFlipmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Feb 12, 2005 06:02 PM
Edited by irishghillietoes (79102) on 2005-02-12 17:55:26 Stupid italics...
Made sticky by imadanseur (79325) on 2005-02-12 22:01:38
Made unsticky by soliloquy (28370) on 2005-03-07 16:35:53 There is a sticky consolidation effort being made. ;)

Dance=injury. It’s inevitable. But it happens! And with all the posts about taco toes and plantar fascitis, I thought it would be a good idea to post about the causes, symptoms, and how to heal your injuries! (But please, do not use this guide as a replacement for proper medical attention!) So here we go!

<I>What is it?</I>-Ahhh no! It’s a result of the dreaded taco toe! Ok, so what is it, other than that? This is a form of arthritis between the joint of your big toe and where it connects to the rest of the foot, which is something that can make it VERY hard to do a toestand. When you get this, your toes swell up like balloons and are very painful.

<I>Cause</I>-This is caused from abnormal pressure on the joint between your foot and your big toe. (*cough*curlingyoutoeswhenyoudotoestands*cough*)

<I>Recovery</I>-Go see a physical therapist, who will most likely order you to refrain from dancing (impossible for us Irish dancers) and have complete rest. Not something competitors can afford to do, eh?

<I>What is it?</I>-Plantar fascia is some tissue that goes all the way from your heels to your toes that supports your other muscles, bones, and tendons. Damaging this is the most common serious injury dancers like us have, and it makes it EXTREMELY painful to even point your foot! You might be able to locate a bruise or swelling on your foot if you have this.

<I>Cause</I>-This is caused from heavy jarring of the foot; say you fall over when you do rocks or something, and this could occur. Eek!

<I>Recovery</I>-Go see a physical therapist. Go. Now. You could jeopardize your dancing career, seeing as this IS a serious injury.

<I>What is it?</I>-Just what the title says. A pain in the heel area of your foot, which can make it hurt for you to stay up on your toes, point your foot, or just walk.

<I>Cause</I>-Dancing on a hard surface. And you thought shin splints was the most you could get!

<I>Recovery</I>-This is one of the few times that I’m gonna say you don’t have to go see a physical therapist. In fact, exercises do very little to help this! So, the most you can do is stay off those feet for a few days and get proper rest.

<I>What is it?</I>-This is a very painful/common injury where your knees hurt really bad, making it hard to dance. In fact, I myself have a case of ‘em right now…

<I>Cause</I>-Dancing on a hard surface. Yee-owch!
<I>Recovery</I>-Stay off your feet. Don’t dance. Rest!!!

<I>What is it?</I>-When you try to stand on your feet, you might hear a popping sound and your legs will buckle. (Obviously this makes it hard to dance hahaha….)

<I>Cause</I>-A hit to the ligament, which may cause it to tear partially or even completely!

<I>Recovery</I>-Go see a doctor. For a partial tear in the ligament, the doctor may just recommend physical therapy, but for a complete tear, they may have to go in and do surgery! L

<I>What is it?</I>-Turf toe is a sprain of the big toe making it too painful to go up on your toes/do toestands/point your feet.

<I>Cause</I>-Well, when doing toestands, this can be caused by knuckling down on your toes and curling them over.

<I>Recovery</I>-Go see your doctor. Until then, tape the toe next to the other ones to help relieve the pain.

<I>What is it?</I>-Pretty self explanatory. A corn is a rough and tough patch of skin on your toes where your shoes have been rubbing up against them. A blister is a fluid filled piece of skin which has been irritated by the wear and use of your shoes (normally hardshoes).

<I>Cause</I>-See above.

<I>Recovery</I>-For corns, use an over the counter corn or wart remover from your local pharmacy. For blisters, place a band-aid over it (but make sure it gets some air) and put moleskin on the places in your shoes which are causing them. But whatever you do, DO NOT pop a blister! This can lead to infection of the toe…ack!

<I>What is it?</I>-A broken bone in your foot/ankle/toes. If you have one, you will be unable to move either of these.

<I>Cause</I>-A hard blow/extreme pressure to the foot and/or ankle and/or toe.

<I>Recovery</I>-Again, go see your doctor. He/she will put a cast on it and prescribe physical therapy.

If you hurt your foot/ankle, do the “RICE” thing:
(Courtesy . . .)
1. Rest. Restrict your activity and get off your foot/ankle.
2. Ice. Gently place a plastic bag of ice wrapped in a towel on the injured area in a 20-minute-on, 40-minute-off cycle.
3. Compression. Lightly wrap an Ace bandage around the area, taking care not to pull it too tight.
4. Elevation. To reduce swelling and pain, sit in a position that allows you to elevate the foot/ankle higher than your waist.”
The most important thing to remember, fellow dancers, is to try and keep yourself out of any situation that would cause you to hurt yourself. If your teacher hasn’t taught you a move, don’t attempt it. You could end up doing the move wrong, or even worse, hurting yourself. If you have been taught something and are unsure, ask your teacher. It’s their job to teach you.
-Make sure you are strong enough to do whichever dance/move you are doing. If you notice that you taco when you do toestands, get off your toes IMMEDIATELY and begin to do ankle exercises before attempting it again. I have heard stories of dancers who have broken their ankle(s) because they were too weak to do these, and some of them cannot dance ever again because of this. I beg you, please, please, PLEASE monitor what you are doing and how your feet are moving.
-Don’t do hardshoe in bare feet. I am saying this from experience. You can stub your toes, get pretty scratched up, and numerous other things. It’s just not the smartest idea.
-If something hurts, stop doing that something! You could be injuring yourself! Don’t ignore your body if it protests.
-If you are already injured, don’t dance. You could be furthering some pretty low-key incidents into life-changing injuries.
-Get proper medical attention. Don’t rely on store-bought over the counter medicines to help you, and although this that you are reading right now may be a guide, it is no replacement for a doctor’s examination.

So, to conclude, may all of us dancers have many healthy and happy jig-filled years ahead of us! Hope this helped!

Signing off,

SOURCES: . . . . . . . . . . . .

8 Replies to Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries!

re: Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries!
By Ampersandmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Feb 12, 2005 06:52 PM
AWESOME post, there is a ton of useful information here, and the links are GREAT. Thanks so much!

(Side note, I hope that I never get any of these conditions...)
re: Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries!
By riseUPstepFALLmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Feb 12, 2005 09:39 PM
Question: Are toe crunches bad for you?

re: Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries! (karma: 1)
By califeisgirl
On Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:43 AM
Just an FYI, when I broke my 5th metatersal, I could move all my toes and my foot, without a lot of pain. If your foot looks bad, is swollen and black and blue, still go see a doctor. Everyone at dance thought my foot wasn't broken cause I could move my toes, but the x-ray tech at the hospital knew it was broken just by looking at it (obviously he sees alot of broken bones) I can't imagine how bad off I would have been if I hadn't gone to the docter as soon as I did.
re: Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries! (karma: 1)
By rowingj
On Sun Feb 13, 2005 05:45 AM
To add to what califeisgirls said, when I broke my foot (2 hairlines fractures in my calcaneus (heel bone)), I could walk on it, wiggle my toes, no problem. It was just really swollen, and that was most likely from the nasty sprain. The ER doc commented that he thought it was a fracture of my 5th metatarsal, and was amazed when the X-rays came back denying such. I saw a foot/ankle specialist a few days later, who had weight-bearing X-rays taken, and voila! my fractures showed up (same thing happened to my brother, just the fracture was in a different place).

With my blisters, I always popped them with a sterile pin, drained them, and then used rubbing alochol to clean and dry them out. I left them to air-dry, wore only white socks, and kept them covered when wearing socks. I did that because I knew if I didn't pop 'em, they'd get popped at dance anyway.

With Plantar Fascitis, if you've got pain in only one foot you can usually feel a difference in the tightness of the fascia. Sit relaxed on the floor (or sofa/bed) and have someone poke your arches. The one with the pain should be much tighter than the un-pained one and poking it may make you go "Ouch!"
re: Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries! (karma: 3)
By TheMidlakeMusemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Feb 13, 2005 09:17 AM
A little more accurate information about shin splints:

What are shin splints?

Shin splints is the name given to pain at the front of the lower leg. The most common cause is inflammation of the periostium of the tibia (sheath surrounding the bone).

The injury is an overuse injury and can be caused by running on hard surfaces or running on tip toes. It is also common in sports where a lot of jumping is involved. If you over pronate then you are also more susceptible to this injury.

Symptoms include:

Tenderness over the inside of the shin.
Lower leg pain.
Sometimes some swelling.
Lumps and bumps over the bone.
Pain when the toes or foot are bent downwards.
A redness over the inside of the shin

What can the athlete do about it?

Rest. The sooner you rest the sooner it will heal.
Apply ice in the early stages when it is very painful.
Wear shock absorbing insoles in shoes.
Maintain fitness with other non weight bearing exercises.
Apply heat and use a heat retainer after the initial acute stage, particularly before training.
See a sports injury specialist who can advise on treatment and rehabilitation.

What can a sports injury specialist or doctor do?

Prescribe anti-inflammatory medication e.g. ibuprofen. (Always consult a doctor before taking medication).
Tape the ankle for support. - A taping worn all day will allow the shin to rest properly.
Analyse running style for over pronation.
Use sports massage techniques on the posterior deep muscle compartment but avoid the inflammed periostium.


Anti inflammatory drugs along with rest and ice can help reduce inflammation, particularly in the early stages. However if the underlying causes such as tight muscles are not treated through stretching and sports massage techniques then the likelyhood of the injury returning is higher.

Taken from . . .

re: Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries!
By OvertheOcean
On Sat Feb 19, 2005 10:12 AM
Can someone tell me what it is when you are dancing (usually in softshoe) and it feels like your arch has ripped? I get this a lot and usually it goes away, but it is really freaky to feel. Has anyone else felt this?
re: Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries!
By irishslipjigmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Feb 21, 2005 11:14 PM
Yeah so i have a wart on the bottom of my foot.... SUCKS!!!!!.... and it really hurts to dance on so it sucks more..... I have wart remover bandaids finally... but to all those dancers out there... where socks or shoes in college dorms.... so you do not have to put up with them... b/c i am a stubern dancer and went almost 3 weeks without doing anything to it and now i can barely dance on it, but i going to bare through the pain b/c i do not like not dancing... another point do not buy the wart remover bandaids that u have to put the medicaded disc on then the cover b/c they dont stay on well so i have to tape my foot and it makes it even harder to walk... oh well at lease it is going to go away now!!!
re: Irishghillietoes ' (Almost) Complete Guide to Dance Injuries!
By reely_kix_bumECRmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Mar 06, 2005 11:48 AM
I broke my 5th meta. too and the doctor didn't think it was broken either then I got back the x-rays and we discovered it was really badly broken. I guess because it is such a small bone it's really hard to tell. My foot didn't swell and bruise that much at the site of the break but more where I severly sprained my ankle.


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