When you’re a dancer, your feet are a big deal. They have to endure vigorous pressure, movement, and weight. From foot cramps, blisters, and corns to damaged toenails – your feet can experience plenty of wear and tear. To keep you dancing your best, you need to take special care of your feet. Here we explore some ways to protect your feet and your joints to keep them in tip-top shape.
Take care of your toenails
First things first, you should always keep your toenails short. Nothing is more painful than damaging a nail or having ingrown nails caused from cutting them improperly. Always cut your nail straight across to avoid ingrown nails. Also, it’s wise to avoid painting your nails before dance class. The paint will only hide any damaged or ingrown nails that can worsen if not noticed right away.
Blisters are common, especially in pointe work. If you develop blisters from dancing, you should drain out the liquid immediately. Apply ointment, which will speed up the recovery, and cover with a bandage followed by athletic tape. If you find a blood blister, do not drain it. Instead, let it heal on its own. You can also try to put deodorant on your feet before dancing as this can help prevent blisters from forming due to chafing or friction.
Use moleskin patches
If you find that blisters or abrasions are causing you pain and the bandage are doing little to help, apply a moleskin patch over the bandage. This can help add an extra layer of protection and padding to reduce friction.
Keep your calluses
Believe it or not, calluses actually work to protect your feet from abrasions and blisters by making your feet stronger. Only file down thick calluses that may be causing you discomfort.
Try padding and cushions
Using toe pads is an excellent way to relieve the pain and abrasion when working with pointe shoes. You can also try purchasing foam padding from your local craft store to create cushions for your shoes.
Get a massage often
When you’re a dancer, you should get a foot massage at least once a week. But consequently, most dancers feel their feet are unattractive and avoid going to the massage therapist out of embarrassment. If this is you, try using a tennis ball or foot roller each night before bed to help loosen up any knots and aching muscles.
Take Epsom salt baths
After a long hard day of dance, try having a nice warm bath with Epsom salts. The salts will work to relieve your sore muscles and reduce inflammation. Just avoid soaking if you have an open blister or sore.
Consume vitamins and minerals
Taking your essential vitamins and properly hydrating can prevent foot cramps from forming. You can purchase a multi-vitamin that has potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to help. And ensure you drink plenty of water before and after dancing.
Your feet are your most prized possession as a dancer. But they undergo some pretty heavy abuse after a long day of dance. So make sure you take good care of them and use these tips of advice to keep them functioning at their best.