Quick Tip: Foot care for dancers

QuickTips are short articles filled with advice to give your dancing an edge in time for the weekend. They are posted every Friday.

As a dancer, your feet are kind of a big deal, and taking good care of them is essential. This week’s Quick Tip deals with how to keep your feet happy and fit:

  1. Wear the right shoes. Wearing shoes that are wrong for your feet can lead to injuries, from blisters and calluses to painful bunions and worse. Picking the right dance shoes is only half the battle; proper footwear for your other activities (walking, cycling, sports…) is just as important to keep your feet healthy.
     
  2. Protect your feet from blisters and rubbing shoes by having bandages, moleskin or toe tape with you at all times. As soon as you feel that your shoes are less than kind to your skin, apply a bandage to prevent blisters.
     
  3. Give yourself a foot massage (or get someone to do it for you). A quick way to relieve foot muscles after a night of dancing is to carry a tennis ball in your shoe bag. At the end of the night, take off your shoes and roll your soles over the tennis ball, putting enough of your weight on the ball to feel your muscles relax. Concentrate on your arch, the ball of your foot, and your toes.
     
  4. Give your feet a soak. Warm or cool compresses or foot baths help relieve foot fatigue. For a great guide on giving your feet some spa time, check out Nancy Welker’s post on “Feetness” over at DanceAdvantage.com.
     
  5. Put your feet up. Elevating your feet after a long day helps them recover, eliminate toxins, and get you ready for a new day. Whether you’re reading, watching TV or knitting to unwind in the evening, put your feet up!
     
  6. Have foot problems treated promptly. If you have foot pain or your feet feel tired often despite proper care, seeing a podiatrist is highly recommended. Foot exercises, injections or orthotics can relieve foot ache and prevent foot ailments that could end up requiring surgery.

 Do you have a footcare tip to share? Leave it in a reply!

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