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  1. #1
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Default Plantar Fascitis

    I've had plantar fascitis in both feet for about 18 months now, although I only realised it about 3 months ago. Does anyone have any tips for practicing/drills that are kind to my poor feet/heels?

    I was dancing professionally (part time) on these poor feet for about six months, so who knows what damage I did to them, but now I'm on a regime of maintainance and healing. I just don't know how to psyche myself up to dance on them.
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    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    What a pain, literally and figuratively. That particular problem even in a single foot generally puts dancers out for the duration. You could stand still and practice dancing in close spaces with lots of knee action for up and down movement and emphasis on body movements as opposed to traveling movements. Poor you. Hugs going out to Oz.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  3. #3
    Member BigJim's Avatar
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    Try using a tennis ball... Start by standing on the ball to put pressure on one spot ... then shift to another... continue until you have worked over the entire bottom of your foot...change to other foot
    ..Second roll on the ball from toes to heel for each foot...Third roll the ball in circles with the bottom of your foot.



    When you first start there might be places that are tender but you will find you can work through it. I learned this off of YouTube after I badly hurt the ligaments in my foot after an accident. Hope this will help...Jim

  4. #4
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    I made myself a couple of pairs of bondage socks* that I sleep in and they are helping sooooooo much. I also found a heap of stretches & exercises that are helping but I just want to start dancing again, especially now that I've made my home studio BIG! I'm just so scared to hurt my poor feet and all this ot dancing is doing nothing for my continued development nor my confidence. Stupid feet.




    *I don't know what normal people call them but they restrain the foot from going into pointy mode in my sleep.
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  5. #5
    Member Shems's Avatar
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    Ok, this is something I have dealt with pretty recently.

    So first piece of advice. Rest your feet. Probably not what you want to hear, but you need to lay off for a little while on the activities that inflame them. Give them love and massages. Don't dance or exercise on hard surfaces. Take an anti-inflammatory drug or maybe try and anti-inflammatory diet (I just did ibuprofen for a little while).

    Next, do regular stretching. If it actually is just Plantar Fasciitis, these are the stretches to do:



    I say "just" because you are a belly dancer, and there is a good chance that your foot pain may actually be linked to tightness in your hips. I know for me, too many hip drops without enough hip opening stretches has really tightened my hips up and my feet did not start feeling better until I got really serious about regular hip stretches. Actually, I recommend being thorough and regular about putting together a whole hip and leg stretching routine that includes stretches for the hip flexors, the hamstrings, the inner thigh, the deep hip and butt wrapping muscles. These kinds of stretches: http://www.prevention.com/fitness/12...et-hip-flexors This is a great problem to bring to your Yoga teacher as well. Just be sure if you do engage in Yoga classes, and with these stretches above, be very gentle. Pay very close attention to where pain is appearing in your body, and don't push into it. Rest when you need to. If it is tightness in your hips that is causing your foot pain, it is going to take a while to work that out and open it up. I know I pushed a little too hard and pulled a groin muscle which took a long time to heal.

    Next - no going barefoot for a while, and skip the high heels for a while too. You need to get yourself some serious therapeutic shoes and insoles. I bought myself a pair of Kenkoh sandals and they made a glorious world of difference for my pain levels. They actually feel a little uncomfortable when you first start wearing them, but give it a little time and you will thank the goddess for what they do for your feet. I also got some of the Kenkoh insoles, which aren't quite as effective as the sandals, but still really helpful. I didn't try any other brands, but there are a lot out there. I'm going to assume there are several that are pretty effective. Here's where I got mine: http://www.happyfeet.com/search.aspx?keyword=kenkoh If you aren't already dancing in supportive shoes, you may want to consider it. I don't have any specific recommendations here, but I have friends that rock the dance sneakers in practice and seem to really like those, and others that do the jazz shoes with arch support.

    When your feet have gotten a chance to recover a bit and you are being good about your stretches, you can start working in some strengthening exercises. Calf raises and other calf strengthening exercises, like standing in full releve with proper alignment, can help with the more feet specific issues. If the issues are linked to your hips, your best bet is core strengthening exercises (which you can start anytime, even before your feet recover). If you hips are taxed it is likely they are taking on an extra workload because your core isn't doing its part in your various activities. I know that is definitely true with me. Consciously engaging your core more while dancing, walking or other activities will take some of the stress off your hips and might be really helpful to your feet. But don't just do that, take the time to bust out the plank and your other favorite core busters.

    I just want to let you know that this plethora of advise really worked for me. I'm back to running about barefoot, dancing and running and all of that. I still avoid jogging on concrete, I'll trail run instead or hit the elliptical at the gym. But I'm pain free now. If I let myself backslide into bad habits, the pain will flare up again, but now I know what to do to nip it in the bud.

    Good luck to you. Hope you get it sorted. Be good to yourself and listen to your body. No more dancing through the pain.
    Last edited by Shems; 05-23-2016 at 10:54 PM.

  6. #6
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    Oh I wish you the best of luck with this. Everyone has some good points upthread.

    I'm one of the lucky ones where I'm just stuck with it. I think it's tied to me being a toewalker while growing up and not actually dealing with it earlier. I've come across a few things that have made my life a bit easier to deal with.

    1. Crocs. Omg, these are amazing. For real. Get some. The sandals for some reason feel way better for me than the other styles. I've talked with physical therapists (that I saw for other probs) about it and many of them have say all good things regarding Crocs. There's also a lot of raving about them for chefs and doctors and what not.

    2. Inserts into ballet shoes for practicing. It gives a little more support if you want a relatively barefoot feeling. I used that set up for some workshops. Mornings were typically tough, but not any worse.

    3. Rest. It sucks. But it's what has helped me wake up without pain for a while now. I used to work in retail and now I have an office job so my feet are feeling better. Relatively.

    Keep up with the boot thing. I've had prescribed night time boot things and I end up throwing them off after not falling asleep for waay too long (or if I managed to fall asleep, throwing them off after only about 2 or so hours of sleep). Can you share your foot bondagey set up?

    It's no fun. Hopefully it'll go away soon for you.

  7. #7
    Moderator Darshiva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by allinorah View Post
    Inserts into ballet shoes for practicing. It gives a little more support if you want a relatively barefoot feeling. I used that set up for some workshops. Mornings were typically tough, but not any worse.
    I already dance in split-sole jazz shoes because feet first. I've got a pair of ankle braces to give my ankles stability during dance classes.

    Quote Originally Posted by allinorah View Post
    Keep up with the boot thing. I've had prescribed night time boot things and I end up throwing them off after not falling asleep for waay too long (or if I managed to fall asleep, throwing them off after only about 2 or so hours of sleep). Can you share your foot bondagey set up?
    It's bascally a couple of pairs of knee-high socks with a wide, strong elastic attached at the toe and the top of the shin (not the very top of the sock, about an inch or so down) I was using a similar setup without elasticity but woke up with terrible foot cramps. The elastic makes it possible for me to toe-point, but makes it very tiring so I naturally form a habit of keeping my feet flat (at a 90 degree angle). The last two nights in a row I've woken up with my feet in the correct position despite my socks sliding down a bit in the night. I'm havng good results with this setup because it's encouraging good posture while still allowing my feet to move naturally, so I'm getting the best sleep I've had in years.

    Anyway - make sure you do two or more pairs because wearing the same socks two nights in a row is icky - at least for me! YMMV
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  8. #8
    Member Shems's Avatar
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    oh yeah, one more thing I forgot to mention, you can try writing the alphabet with your toes as a foot warm up before dancing. It is a really good one.

  9. #9
    Moderator Shanazel's Avatar
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    Ah, the alphaballet toe dance. Good advice.
    "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn " if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you."

  10. #10
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    Sometimes I wish I didn't have such an aversion to shoes!

    I may have to get crafty this weekend!!

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