Dancer’s Heel Injury - Symptoms
- Swelling and tenderness at the back of the heel
- Pain when the foot points downward
- Pain felt at the back of the ankle
Dancer’s Heel - Management and Treatment
Dancer’s heel or posterior Impingement is a foot condition which develops when the tissues at the back of the ankle is compressed. As the name implies, this is often seen in dancers who repeatedly place huge pressure on their heels with their dance movements. Compression of tissues is due to the development of a bone formation at the ankle’s back. Dance movements that put pressure on the heels triggers the compression of tissues between the ankle and heel bone which in turn causes pain.
A podiatrist may recommend a variety of treatment and management options for those suffering from dancer’s heel. People suffering from this foot condition are advised to rest the ankle and avoid placing too much pressure on the area. Dancers may take a few days off for example to prevent aggravating injury.
Anti-inflammatory and pain medications can be used to provide short term relief from pain. An ice pack could also be placed over the ankle to reduce swelling and pain. This could also help you get back on your feet much quicker.
To help reduce inflammation and further worsening of the medical condition, a podiatrist may also recommend the use of a special walking boot or foot cast. This is to incapacitate the ankle and prevent it from moving. Dance feet sufferers are advised to use this for up to a month. Long Island Foot and Ankle Group are podiatrists who specialize in helping people suffering from dancer’s heel.
Those with more advanced dancer’s heels, a podiatrist may recommend the use of steroid injections to immediately reduce pain and inflammation. A steroid injection reduces compression on the tissues. This reduces the pressure from the ankle bone pressing on the tissues.
Long term treatment includes physical therapy to help dance heel sufferers regain use of their ankles. Functionality in the ankles is restored through a series of exercises that promote better range of movement and to improve strength in the ankles.
Surgery is recommended for dancer’s heel sufferers who don’t respond to non-surgical treatments. This will attempt to restore functioning and range of movement in the ankle.
At Long Island Foot and Ankle Group with offices located in Valley Stream and Lake Success, we specialize in helping people suffering with foot injuries. To schedule an appointment phone Valley Stream (516) 825-4070 or Lake Success (516) 327-0074.