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Can pointe work be good for ankles?


Lemongirl
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My middle dd who is 10 has had problem ankles for some time. They tend to roll inwards and she sometimes gets pain. She is under an osteopath who has given her heel pads for her shoes and more recently, orthotics.

 

She does ballet but nowhere near as keenly as her older sister. The osteopath thinks ballet is good for her ankles and pointe work in particular being good to strengthen her ankles. I am really hoping she keeps up the ballet but tbh I think she might want to give up soon.

 

Is it true that pointe work will help her ankles and what else might help?

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I am not sure if this is answering your question. Exercises that help strengthen anckles for pointe will be useful. So pointe can only be useful in strenghtening ways. However, I think she should only go en pointe after visiting a physiotherapist, pointe may cause damage to the anckles as well, especially if you have problems with them. I know someone that has problems with her feet, she has been doing ballet from a young age and wants to go on pointe, he teacher has let her as well. But, her physiotherapist told her that going on pointe for her will not be possible because of the way her feet are built. She is very keen and still carries on going to the therapist to strengthen her anckles as she wants to go on pointe. She told me that she believes they are helping a lot, she may be ready to go on pointe soon after the sessions.

 

Try exercises for strenthening rather than going on pointe. Take one of those thick elastics found at gyms, pull it against feet and try gentle pointing. I do not have problems with my feet but I believe this reallly helps with strenthening. I also think 10 may be a much too young age to go on pointe. Her body is still growing, damaging the anckles will be very easy. A profesional ballerina I know has recently broken her anckles from pointe work and she is 22!

 

After visiting a physiotherapist, I suggest it is your daughter who decides what she would like to do and what she would feel comfortable with.

I enjoy pointe classes very much, the most important t hing to remember is doing what you feel comfortable with!

 

I'm not sure if I have answered your question but I hope I have helped in some way :-)

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Thank you, just to clarify I'm not suggesting she does pointe work now, I'm just looking ahead to the future. At their school they don't start pointe till about 11 as a minimum. In any case, I don't think she will be that keen to do pointe anyway, but was interested to find out the possible positive effects on her ankles.

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Your GP should be able to refer you to a paediatric podiatrist through the NHS. The podiatrist will assess you DD  and can give a tailored exercise programme and may take  moulds of the feet for bespoke orthotics. Both my children have suffered from pronation and my daughter who has taken ballet lessons has managed to eliminate the pronation on one foot and greatly reduce it on the other. I would say though that her problem had been dealt with before she reached the stage of going on pointe. My son has had more serious issues with his pronation and even with the exercise regime and orthotics still experiences pain. He is now 15 and in the podiatrists opinion he has progressed as far as he is going to is unlikely to improve his situation in future, but will need to continue with a maintainence programme to prevent his pain worsening again. According to our podiatrist the younger the child is treated, the better the outcome will usually be. :)

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Some chiropodists are also podiatrists, but not always. You have to check their qualifications for D.Pod.M or similar.

 

I would certainly suggest a Podiatrist, a Consultant Podiatrist if you have private health, or an experienced dance physio, not an Osteopath.

 

Like Elliepops, my dd over-pronated but a combination of exercises by the physio and orthotics prescribed by a Podiatrist sorted her out.

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Hi Lemongirl, I suspect that your dd's ballet teacher would probably not let her start pointe work at all if she has any problems, and would suggest lots of ankle strengthening exercises to do instead.

 

Has the osteopath got it the wrong way round? I think you would need to have sufficient strength before you start pointe, rather than use pointework as the exercise to strengthen the ankles... 

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