Ugly side of ballet, foot pain and bunion pain

Ballet's ugly secret

ballet_bunion_foot_painAlberta Ballet dancer Nicole Caron recently spoke with The Vancouver Sun about the ugly side of ballet: foot pain.

Caron said dancers will go through many rituals and remedies to alleviate swelling, pain and deformities caused by spending hours on the tips of their toes in pointe shoes. She explained that the sound of rattling aspirin bottles often echoes through the dance studio in the morning.

"Pointe shoes are about making a dancer appear weightless, like a sylph, but when we take off our shoes, it's not the prettiest thing," Caron said, quoted by the news source.

The article notes that the average woman takes 5,000 steps a day, every one of which may be painful for individuals with bunions or hammer toe.

The American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine has reported that hallux valgus, or bunions, are common in ballet dancers because of the pressure they put on their toes.

 Ballet dancers may wear bunion splints to relieve bunion pain

Caron can take comfort in knowing that the use of bunion splints or orthotics may help prevent or correct bunions, hammer toe and foot pain should she develop any of these conditions. Use of these devices may help dancers avoid painful, expensive bunion surgery

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