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Gurnee Podiatry & Sports Medicine Associates

Foot Care Tips for Dancers
Podiatrist and Athletic Trainer Dr. Lisa Schoene speaks to Russian Pointe on how dancers can best care for their feet when dancing on pointe.

“What is the Plantar Fascia”
Heel pain is one of the most common things that is treated in the office these days. This problem is seen in all types of patients from athletes to older adults and even children.

Heel pain or arch pain is considered a type of overuse syndrome that affects this large band which is called plantar fascia which lies within the foot. This band supports the bones, muscles and the arch. It fans forward toward the toes and originates from the heel bone. It acts like a bowstring that holds up the arch.

“What is an Ankle Sprain?”
The typical ankle sprain is a result of the turning of the foot and ankle. A sprain is actually the tearing of the ligaments that are on the outside of the ankle, that hold bone to bone.

“What causes feet and legs to be painful?”
There are many reasons why feet or legs can be painful.
1. Mechanical Problems: bunions, hammertoes, heel/arch pain, tendonitis, shin pain, corns, and calluses.
2. Neurological Problems: neuromas, entrapped nerves, diabetic neuropathy (loss of sensation with tingling or burning)
3. Circulatory Problems: Vein enlargement, swollen legs, blocked arteries and ulcerations.
4. Medical Conditions: Diabetes, gout, rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.
5. Skin Problems: Dermatitis, athlete’s foot, fungal infections or ingrown nails.

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Strengthening Exercises for Dancers
Dance Specialist Dr. Lisa Schoene speaks with Russian Pointe about strengthening exercises that dancers can use to help prevent injury on pointe.

“What About The Etiology Of Overuse Injuries In Dancers?”
There are two types of injury mechanisms: overuse and traumatic. Dance injuries typically fall into the overuse category. Given the numerous repetitive movements in dance, there is a higher incidence of overuse injuries, which usually occur during class or rehearsals as opposed to happening during performance. Approximately 50 percent of overuse dance injuries are foot and ankle injuries. Injuries of the lower extremity comprise the vast majority of all dance injuries as well. Most injuries increase seasonally as the rehearsal and performance schedules increase.

“Well-fitting Shoes”
Recommendations of good supportive well-fitting shoes are an extremely important part of the treatments of many foot conditions. Whether you have a diabetic foot condition, rheumatoid arthritis or a bad neuroma, a well-fitting shoe is an excellent way to help manage the problem.
There are instances when problems such as corns, calluses, blister or pinched nerves can be caused, or at least aggravated, by improperly fitting shoes. It is always good to discontinue wearing old worn our shoes because they can cause these problems as well.

“Various Podiatric Applications of Kinesio® Taping”
The Kinesio® taping method is well-suited for podiatric lower extremity issues. The tape can be used for many conditions. Kinesio® taping can be combined with many different modalities, including massage therapy, physical therapy treatments, exercise prescription, and acupuncture, to name a few. The tape can be saturated with Biofreeze® spray, which also helps reduce pain. Post-op scars that are sensitive or enlarged can be effectively treated with the tape (using an “I” strip). Many of the techniques can be taught to patients, so they can re-apply the tape regularly.

“Unique Qualities of Kinesio® Tape”
“The Kinesio® Taping Method” This tape mimics skin – it is the approximate thickness of the epidermis, and when properly applied, the body will not perceive its weight. It is made of polymer elastic stands wrapped in 100% cotton fibers. This allows for quick drying of body moisture. There is no latex, and the adhesive is 100% acrylic. It is activated by body heat and will become more adherent the longer it is worn. In the manufacturing process, the adhesive is applied to the fibers of the tape in a wave-like pattern to mimic the qualities of fingerprints on the fingertip. This wave pattern lifts the epidermis and also allow for moisture to escape.
The tape has a paper backing which can be torn, folded back, and removed in different ways, depending on the desired application. The tape can be worn for three to five days and be worn during athletic events as seen in the recent Olympics. Due to the fact that there is no glue residue, the tape may be reapplied without any skin irritation.

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Nutrition and Injury Prevention for Dancers
Dr. Lisa Schoene speaks with Russian Pointe about nutrition and injury prevention for dancers.
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