Blog from the Barre: Ankle and Foot Injuries in Dancers

Did you know that dancers suffer an average of 1 injury per year? Between 14-77% of those injuries are in the foot and ankle. Another fun fact: the foot and ankle consist of 26 bones in the foot and 2 lower leg bones! The foot and ankle complex is extremely important for dancers to propel themselves through space and create long, beautiful lines with their legs. 

Common dance injuries include ankle sprains, tendinitis, and hallux valgus also known as bunions. Most dancers will experience an ankle sprain at some point in their careers and a lot of them will work through an ankle sprain if it isn’t too severe. It is important to seek out care even for minor sprains to maintain the extreme ranges of motion and strength needed in a dancers foot. 

A dancer may benefit from an orthotic or heel cup to be used in street shoes while not dancing to support the foot and aid in healing. Prior to full return to dance, a dance physical therapist may recommend gradual return to dance by doing barre work in tennis shoes with supportive orthotics to ease the feet back into dance activities. For more information about how to manage foot and ankle conditions in dancers, or if you have foot and/or ankle pain, contact Rehab Specialists and ask to be scheduled with our dance specialist.