Thursday, August 4, 2011

injuries and problems associated with flat feet

"Take it Easy" the Eagles.

here's an injury post everyone!  please don't throw up from the pictures of my feet (at least I painted my nails for you) =]

shin splints [medial tibial stress syndrome] aka: PAINFUL SHINS!!
MTSS is when too much force or pressure it put on the shin bone or connective tissues connecting the muscles to the tibia.  It's common in stopping-and-going sports like basketball, track, and tennis... and I suppose ballet?  The severity of the pain depends on how bad it's inflamed.  Sometimes it is possible to also have a fracture on the tibia, but a medical doctor can feel along your tibia to check for bumps indicating fractures (which will otherwise not show up on an x-ray for a few weeks).

My flat feet have caused so many problems including tendonitis, sprains, and now shin splints.  I think it is important to warn younger dancers about problems associated with flat feet.

What is a flat foot?
Notice how you cannot see any air between my foot and the floor?  Voila. No US army for you!

PHOTO 1: This is a picture where I was 'lifting' my arches (as you must in ballet class).  Notice how the red lines are straight?  Now check out this next picture.
PHOTO 2: This is my natural stance.  Notice the slight bend in the red lines?  This throws off everything and greatly affects your joints.  (thus my ankle and hip problems, and now my shins).

So if you have flat feet (or very low in steps), consider all these thoughts:
  • you will  naturally pronate
  • your feet get tired easier than the normal foot
  • you have less support
  • you are more susceptible to sprains, twists, tendonitis, etc. in your joints
  • The only good thing I can think of is that you cannot be drafted into the army.
If you are younger than 10 and considering a professional career in ballet, make sure to have this addressed medically by a doctor and a qualified ballet instructor before beginning your studies.  Your foot CAN be changed if you are younger than 10.  If you're over this age, I wish you all the luck, because I am in the same predicament.

What is pronation?

Any questions?  Feel free to ask, please remember I'm only an experienced dancer, not professional doctor.


Anonymous said...

Yikes! That is unfortunate...I hope you get better soon :)

Anonymous said...

Orthotics are the best way to fix it!

Izi said...

Hi Rachel,

Ooh no! I hope you get better real quick. The diagram is good, it really shows what you are talking about. I posted one on MY blog a while ago to show where tendinitis occurs.

Great post, hope you get better Sooooooon!

Izi :)

Anonymous said...

There are exercises you can do to correct your flat feet. Contact me to learn how to do these,

-J.Darling said...

Hi there! I'm a new reader. I'm nearly 32 years old, and a wanna-be-runner/triathlete. While I've completed events, it's really starting to catch up with me. During my last 5k I developed a shooting pain and numbness through 2 of the toes on my right foot. Suspecting a stress fracture, my General Practitioner suspects it's my notoriously flat feet, so I'm off to the podiatrist. Again. I've warn custom orthodics off and on throughout my entire life. My toes often go numb when I run, walk. Only now, this time, my thighs and hips hurt after the run. So I'm paying the price on giving up on orthodics when I was younger and just a soccer player. Hang in there!