Little Ballerina: Top 10 tips on prevention of pointe-related injuries.
Warm-up/ Know your body
1) Always do enough warm up and stretching before class. Arriving at least 15-20min before actual class to do stretching and warm up, gives you enough range of motion to fit into stance, positions, even challenging poses. Remember, warming up and cooling down after class are crucial to longevity of a dancer’s career.
2) Always do a regular technique class before going on to a full pointe class. By doing so, it prevent frequent cause of tendonitis.
3) Floor exercise that involve stretching and working on the instep and forefoot will lessen ankle related injuries.
4) There is a misconception of wearing leg warmer, people thinks that by wearing them it will warm up muscle. So not true! So, always put them on after warming up to preserve the warmth, rather than wearing them to warm-up and then removing them.
5) Everyone has its own body type, own range of motion. Think of lengthening line to accomplish your maximum range of motion, instead of imitating someone else and risk injury.
Shoe size does matter!
6) Pointe shoe that is too short can bring great discomfort to the Achilles tendon, cause ends longer second and third toes to become pressed, resulting in corns and callous formations, or possibly to disjoint from its normal structure, which can lead to an arthritic condition. Wearing shorter shoes prevents the arch from expanding. Once the elasticity of the arch is lost, the ability to jump is lost. In addition, it also lessen a dancer’s plie. If foot contact a half inch or longer on the satin at the heel of the shoe, the size may be too short. Beware, it can cut into the back of heel when you do plie or during jumps! Shoes that are too narrow squeeze the toes and joints, pressing together might lead to toe nails ingrown or cutting into other toe.
7) Shoes that are too big lessen control of movement. Bigger shoes might cause sprained ankles, overstretched tendons, and overdevelop of muscle that is working hard to hang on to the shoe. Stiffness of back, shoulder, and neck might result on compensating for loss of range of movement when control of foot is lost. Foot will end up sinking into the shoe, causing the big toes twisted.
8) Always tie your ribbon just right. Tight ribbon cut off circulation, creating tremendous pressure on ankle.
9) Faulty techniques always lead to injuries, these include incorrect line, improper weight placement.
10) Ballet injuries always happen when fatigues set-in. Long strenuous classes, rehearsals might result in poor placement caused by tired/weak muscles incapable of holding the feet in proper alignment may cause varies physical strains and stresses.