Dancing Facts & Injury Prevention

Foot, Ankle, Dermatology, Legs, Biomechanics...

Dance Conditions & Injuries of the Foot and Ankle

Foot Trivia
  • 28 bones in each foot
  • 24 joints: 4 major and 20 minor
  • 11 extrinsic muscles outside the foot
  • 19 intrinsic muscles within the foot
  • 2 arches
  • 100’s of ligaments
Dance Facts & Injury prevention
  • Walking puts 2-3 x the body weight on each foot
  • Jumping puts 5-6 x the body weight for sports like basketball or volleyball
  • Jumping on pointe puts 12 x the body weight on each foot!!
Overuse Foot & Ankle Injuries

Any injury that starts slowly and progresses and if untreated can become a serious injury.
  • Tendonitis
  • Metatarsal pain
  • Shin pain
  • Stress
  • Fractures
  • Plantar fascitis
  • Muscle strains
  • Leg/back muscular pains
Why do they occur?
  • Inadequate strength or flexibility
  • Biomechanical alignment (feet, turnout, scoliosis)
  • Equipment, flooring issues or shoe fit
  • Class or rehearsal schedules (too much)
  • Hormonal imbalances (women-stress fractures)
  • Nutritional status
  • Old injuries not completely healed or rehabbed!
  • Age (younger dancers more prone to some injury)
  • Improper technique
Treatment & Prevention
  • Improve strength (strength training)
  • Continue to improve flexibility (subtle differences)
  • Continue cardiovascular workouts when hurt, etc.
  • Watch shoe fit (especially street shoes)
  • See a nutritionist (fatigue and performance)
  • Discuss rehearsal or class schedules
  • Have lower extremity biomechanics evaluated (for orthotics, inserts or shoe changes)

She always keeps in mind the movements of each sport and incorporates that into the treatment plan.

Foot & Leg Fatigue

The Cause
  • Overworked or weak muscles
  • Tight shoes
  • Pointe work after long layoff
  • Collapsed arches (forcing turnout)
  • Poor shoe support (street shoes too)
What we do!

Dr. Schoene looks at the dancer's postural alignment!

We evaluate for all dance conditions, causes, and prescribe many treatments to cure and prevent future injuries.

Our Evaluations Include Checking For:
  • Scoliosis or leg length discrepancies
  • Over turn-out technique
  • Foot mechanic alignment
  • Screen for bunions, hammertoes etc,
  • X-ray evaluation for growth plates, and foot alignment
  • En Pointe position X-ray evaluation with shoes on Dance specific strength and flexibility evaluation
  • Dance shoe fit and modification suggestions
  • Prescribe dance based exercise therapies
For Dance Companies or Studios Our Doctor Offers:
  • Dance lectures to teachers or students
  • Perform in studio dance screenings
  • Back stage coverage for performances
  • In-services during intensive programs that includes many types of handouts and instruction
Foot Biomechanics

Foot Biomechanics can be the cause of low back and other lower extremity problems. Every movement that dancers make, requires having proper foot position, and lower extremity placement.

Good technique is important for every athlete too. Improper foot alignment either from genetics (just having a flat or pronated foot structure) or from pushing improper turnout can allow many conditions to progress through time.


  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Arthritis to mid foot joints
  • Ligament injuries within the foot
  • Chronic tendonitis conditions
  • Knee issues
  • Hip/Sacroiliac joint conditions
  • Lower back strains.

"Dr.Schoene is very competent and thorough. She applies common sense to her knowledge and experience and genuinely wants to see you back on your feet asap. She also uses economical ways to find a solution to your problem".

- M. H.

"I was referred by Dr.Shelly Betman and was so happy to have seen Dr.Schoene. When I called first thing on a Monday to be seen ASAP, I was told the doctor was booked solid but after a few phone calls they were able to get me in and I was thrilled. I got excellent treatment and was on the mend in no time. I can't thank you enough!"

- D.E.S.