Does dancing give you bunions?

#21
Those are great stretches, I have a bunion
Laura, you just missed Mesrop! He was in town this weekend working in a physical therapist's office very close to Spectrum. It's good to see him personally if you can because he'll access your whole body to see if you have hip or leg issues that also need to be addressed.

He's working on a friend of mine now on a different issue. I noticed that friend never went on the balls of his toes which is what we need to do quite often in Standard. When I asked him to walk on his toes, he literally could not. His feet rolled out and only with much effort and strain could he force himself onto the balls of his feet. Mesrop diagnosed him with an overactive piriformis muscle which caused the external rotation, and along with that, corresponding weak glutes. He now has a program to strenghthen and activate his glutes. Someone else misdiagnosed him with weak ankles, but the problem originates much higher up.

The more I learn about bio-mechanics the more I become painfully aware that many things our dance teachers try to get us to do may be physically impossible at the time and may require exercises and stretches to bring our bodies back into bio-mechanical harmony. Doing so will not only get or keep us out of pain, but greatly improve our dancing.
 

skwiggy

Well-Known Member
#22
I thought a bunion was the name of the distortion that occurs when the toe joint starts to protrude to the inner part of the foot caused by the big toe angling away from the inner foot
This sounds a lot closer to the description my podiatrist gave and the pictures he had all over his office. He described the bones angling away from one another at the top and showed examples of the space between the bones. In fact he touched the bunion and made a point of saying to me "that is not swelling, it's bone". I do have some additional swelling on top of the bunion, which he characterized as bursitis.
 

Laura

New Member
#23
The more I learn about bio-mechanics the more I become painfully aware that many things our dance teachers try to get us to do may be physically impossible at the time and may require exercises and stretches to bring our bodies back into bio-mechanical harmony. Doing so will not only get or keep us out of pain, but greatly improve our dancing.
I agree, which is why I think it is pretty much necessary for anyone who is learning as an adult to take body/movement awareness type training too -- Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, Pilates, and so on. A dance teacher will tell you to stand up straight, or rise up on your toes, but can't really spend the time to tell you HOW.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
#24
A while back, I'd gotten Wharton's Stretch Book (I'm sure on the advice of someone here) and looked in it yesterday, and sure enough there's a section of advice on stretches to do for bunions. Anybody that's got the book may want to check it out.:)
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#25
so yes...my newest accomplishment...a bunion...and that sucker hurts...how do you wrap it how do you manage it etc? any new thoughts on this?
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
#26
When mine were really acting up (pre-Yoga Toes) I basically taped so that my big toe was being pulled outward. Can't remember exactly how I did it but the goal was to pull the big toe away from the other toes. Then I threw some gauze in between big toe and index toe. But those cushiony things they make to go in between toes would probably work better, I'm just cheap and had gauze on hand.
And can I say it again, ICE is a miracle. I've been using it on everything lately and using a lot less ibuprofen. Ice on my ankle, ice on my knee, ice on my back, ice on my upper back, ice on my wrist, and my newest discovery: Ice on my neck for migraines. Instead of constricting the blood vessels with caffeine a la Excedrin, ice on my neck to constrict those blood vessels going to my brain. I love my ice packs.
 

danceronice

Well-Known Member
#27
Spacers. And if you're a pointy-shoe fashionista off the floor, quit. I ended up with bunions before I started dancing from wearing narrower shoes than I needed. Made fitting skates and Latin sandals both less pleasant than necessary.
 

j_alexandra

Well-Known Member
#28
<start brokenrecord> Rolfing. <end brokenrecord>My bunion has changed radically since I began with Rolf.

Gonna try the spacers, though, and get more conscientious about the yoga toes I have but forget to use...


note to self: do I have to explain to People Under a Certain Age what a broken record is?
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#29
thanks guys...have started taping the toe..does help...and no, not fashionista shoes here...almost never...just living in my dance shoes I'm afraid
 
#30
When mine were really acting up (pre-Yoga Toes) I basically taped so that my big toe was being pulled outward. Can't remember exactly how I did it but the goal was to pull the big toe away from the other toes. Then I threw some gauze in between big toe and index toe. But those cushiony things they make to go in between toes would probably work better, I'm just cheap and had gauze on hand.
And can I say it again, ICE is a miracle. I've been using it on everything lately and using a lot less ibuprofen. Ice on my ankle, ice on my knee, ice on my back, ice on my upper back, ice on my wrist, and my newest discovery: Ice on my neck for migraines. Instead of constricting the blood vessels with caffeine a la Excedrin, ice on my neck to constrict those blood vessels going to my brain. I love my ice packs.
i would be careful with ice around bunions, if arthritis developed in that area, ice will hurt like hell
 
#31
so yes...my newest accomplishment...a bunion...and that sucker hurts...how do you wrap it how do you manage it etc? any new thoughts on this?
spacers, heat, warm bath with yoga-toes on is the best, and consider checking with foot specialist if you need arch support, i have mine custom made for dancing hoes
 
#32
Here's a bunion regulator:


And here's a pic of the longer toe spacers on an actual foot:

The smaller toe spacers may be too short to keep the toes separated all the way up, if your toes are long like mine.
i love the regulators, just cannot sleep with them, i wear them when watching TV or working (working from home office is very helpful in this situation)
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
#33
i would be careful with ice around bunions, if arthritis developed in that area, ice will hurt like hell
Good warning. I'll say if they're NEW bunions, which can still be fixed. New ones are inflammation, ice is great for inflammation. Once your body decides that you aren't fixing them though, that's when they get all solidified on you. Then I imagine ice would hurt!
 
#34
I was developing bunions when I first started dancing, but then I realized that the standard advice to wear dance shoes smaller than your street size is bunk. For me anyway, even the roundest toe dance shoe pushes my big toe over toward the other toes and that's a receipe for a bunion. Have had no problems since I went up a size in shoes so that my toes can lie straight in the shoe. I do wear shoes with an ankle strap to keep my foot from sliding forward.
 

singndance

Well-Known Member
#35
Yes, I agree with a larger shoe size too. I had a bunion before I started to dance, and was fit with a very tight shoe at first, which made the bunion scream. Since going up a whole size, my toes have much more room and there is no pressure on the bunion. I wish I could wear the shoe a little tighter, because my heel moves around too much for my taste, but my toes and my bunion are much, much happier!
 

fascination

Site Moderator
Staff member
#36
thanks all...can't do a larger shoe as I have a very narrow foot which slips out of the back of shoes already...but I have gotten relief from much of what has been offered herein
 

j_alexandra

Well-Known Member
#37
thanks all...can't do a larger shoe as I have a very narrow foot which slips out of the back of shoes already...but I have gotten relief from much of what has been offered herein
Gel heel cushions. Works like a charm. I have narrow heels, and the gel thingies are great. The ones that fit inside the top of heel counter of the shoe, not the ones you stand on.
 

wooh

Well-Known Member
#38
Gel heel cushions. Works like a charm. I have narrow heels, and the gel thingies are great. The ones that fit inside the top of heel counter of the shoe, not the ones you stand on.
I wish they worked for me. They just seem to push my whole foot forward. Maybe if I cut out the back of the cushion, so it's only "squeezing" on the sides would work? Might have to try that now that I think of it.
 

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