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Ballet Feet | On Your Toes

From blisters to bruises to broken nails, the list of foot problems faced by the typical ballet dancer could paper the walls of the Four Seasons Centre. But as common as these ailments are, many dancers don’t know how to treat them other than to put on a Band-Aid, suck it up and continue dancing through the pain.

To be safe and to ensure better foot health contact a Podiatrist.

Blisters - Insufficient padding or protection in your pointe shoes. Or the shoe may rub against the feet due to either the dancer’s hammer toes or a shoe profile that is a bit too low.

Bruised & Broken Nails - Damaged toenails are usually caused by shoes that are either too wide, too square, or both. If the shoe is not aligned properly with your foot, the big toes may slip and pound the inside while you dance en pointe. Bruised or broken nails can also be caused by nails that are left too long.

Bunions -  A bunion is a deformity of the bone that causes the big toe to lean in towards the other toes. Pinky toes can also have this irregularity, referred to as bunionettes or tailor’s bunions. Both cases are often genetic, but exacerbated by shoes that are too narrow in the box.

Hammer Toes - Hammer toes, or toes with a sharply bent middle digit, are frequently caused by genetics rather than ballet. However, in some cases a shoe with a too-low profile or too tight box can exacerbate this typically mild problem.

Stay on “pointe” and make sure your feet can survive your dancing career by avoiding self-treatment and seeing a Podiatrist.


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OPMA | Ontario Podiatric Medical Association

P.O. Box 87538 Thornhill Square RPO

300 John Street Markham, ON L3T7R3

Tel: 905-475-3098 


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