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Best remedy for sore feet


Lemongirl
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After a week of EYB rehearsals en pointe, dds feet are suffering!

 

She's using a combination of plasters, foam padding and lambs wool to minimise the damage and she's giving her feet a break from pointe work during the week.

 

Is there anything she could/should be doing? Are there any good creams for blisters? Or something she could soak her feet in?

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As soon as she comes in - get her to stick her feet in a washing up bowl full of cold water to which you have added a splosh of surgical spirit, and let them soak for about 10-15 minutes.  This treatment worked for my dd after intensive EYB rehearsals :)

 

Cold water is good for reducing any swelling and soreness, and the surgical spirit helps harden the skin.

 

Edited to add: using too much padding might sometimes make soreness worse - it was suggested to my dd that she used corn plasters over the blister, so the blister didn't have any pressure on the top of it.

Edited by taxi4ballet
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Salty water is also good if you have no surgical spirit at home. Or even if you do; soak the feet in salty water for around 10 mins, dry thoroughly. Then wipe a cotton wool pad soaked in surgical spirit around the toenails, ends of the toes, and any red/sore spots on the foot.

 

Dd's chiropodist/podiatrist says a firm "no" to creams or moisturising lotions on her feet on the basis that you don't want to soften the skin.

 

It's also worth double checking the fit of your pointe shoes to make sure that they are neither too small or too big. If too big or wide they can rub and cause blisters.

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My dd used to use Compeed and plasters, lambs wool, you name it, but she had to give up pointe in the end. Her feet bled, blistered and were raw all the time she did it. I was so disappointed and upset for her. People have told me that they were certain her shoes were to blame. We had her fitted in a London shop and again by her dance school. I still don't know what caused her such awful problems. Everyone on the old site tried to help but nothing worked for her.

Edited by Fiz
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Haha, ever tried getting a teenage girl to put their feet in iced water...?  !!!

 

Cue loads of shrieking :D

 

I can imagine! But once they put their feet, ankles and calves into iced water after a long day of rehearsals and can walk fine the next day, they'll be converts! Show them this too: http://larrybrownsports.com/olympics/athletes-ice-baths-pictures/148032

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Yes - 'leg drains' also known as a yoga pose called viparita karani is when you lie on your back with your bottom up against a wall and your legs up in the air and against the wall. Depending on where you get your info from this us recommended for any length of time from 5 minutes to half an hour or longer! Along with aiding circulation of blood from legs to the heart it also helps return lymph fluid to the lymph nodes (think puffy feet after a few hours shopping!). There are other benefits to this pose, it drops the hips into the pelvis relaxing the hip muscles which is important for dancers.

 

I've often seen professional ballet dancers using this position - it must feel nice if nothing else!

 

As for when to do it - I think it should come after the ice bath, although I don think there's any real rule for either. They both help reduce swelling and puffiness but the ice has an overall anti-inflammatory action and reduces muscle spasms whereas draining is more to do with fluid.

 

I also used to recommend flight socks to dancers who suffered with tired and achy calf muscles! They work by helping circulation whilst dancing and during rest breaks. If you're interested more in that area - there's big money in compression technology clothing for runners, look up 'skins' clothing.

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This position you describe with the feet up the wall is used in yoga as a preparation for a shoulder stand.

It's very relaxing. The next stage is to place the feet on the wall and push up keeping legs bent but still in contact with the wall which is also a nice position. You place your hands at the back of the hips for support for the latter even if you are not going to eventually take your legs off the wall and up into the shoulder stand......the final stage.

If you are nervous about doing a shoulder stand this is a good way to practice as the wall is nice and near! You can keep coming back to it if need be.

 

An added benefit is that the shoulder stand might also be useful for releasing tension in the neck as well.

If you do need a support under the shoulders make sure the neck and head are not on the support......they need to be lower....just the shoulders. If rooms are carpeted you most likely won't need a support under the shoulders.

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Yes - 'leg drains' also known as a yoga pose called viparita karani is when you lie on your back with your bottom up against a wall and your legs up in the air and against the wall. Depending on where you get your info from this us recommended for any length of time from 5 minutes to half an hour or longer! Along with aiding circulation of blood from legs to the heart it also helps return lymph fluid to the lymph nodes (think puffy feet after a few hours shopping!). There are other benefits to this pose, it drops the hips into the pelvis relaxing the hip muscles which is important for dancers.

I've often seen professional ballet dancers using this position - it must feel nice if nothing else!

As for when to do it - I think it should come after the ice bath, although I don think there's any real rule for either. They both help reduce swelling and puffiness but the ice has an overall anti-inflammatory action and reduces muscle spasms whereas draining is more to do with fluid.

I also used to recommend flight socks to dancers who suffered with tired and achy calf muscles! They work by helping circulation whilst dancing and during rest breaks. If you're interested more in that area - there's big money in compression technology clothing for runners, look up 'skins' clothing.

Thank you! :-)

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If you are on your feet all day blood tends to pool around the valves in the leg veins due to gravity. By placing the legs against the wall you are essentially aiding flow of blood back to the heart. Placing feet in ice water will cause constriction of the blood vessels so it would make sense to me to do this after elevating the legs or your body is going to have an even tougher time getting rid of the pooling.

Speaking from a medical perspective it is essential to get compression hosiery correctly fitted or it can do more harm than good. The compression needs to be at the correct strength and needs to reduce as you get further up the leg, so should have a higher compression around the ankle than the calf for instance. If, for example, you've got large calves and thin ankles this may not be the case and the compression would actually encourage pooling of blood in the lower leg.

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Thanks Moomin very informative.

I do like to lie on the floor with either my feet up the wall and if I'm JUST doing that then I'll get a pillow/cushion for my head.

 

But if you do the first two stages of the shoulder stand without actually going fully up into one you get most of the advantages.

 

The first stage.....just the legs up the wall is just relaxing for the legs and obviously helps the heart and blood flow as described by Moomin.

The second stage where you place the feet ON the wall and push out with legs bent but feet still ON the wall so that more weight is then on the shoulder and neck area you get the benefits for the neck even if not up in full shoulder stand AND this position is also very relaxing. However if do the second stage no pillow allowed.

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Just to add going backwards and forwards from the second stage back to the first stage etc is a great massage for the spine as well!!

 

If its tension release to access more of ones natural flexibility rather than just trying to gain MORE flexibility then I think you can't beat a scaravelli type yoga class with massage. It s actually amazing how much tension you can release just having your head and neck HELD.......with the view to releasing of course....I find the release goes right down through the body including the legs. But have no direct knowledge whether this affects the hamstrings particularly.

 

Sorry might be getting threads mixed here.......the one on "flexibility" seems to converging on this thread as well!!!

Edited by LinMM
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if you do viparita karani it also helps to put a weight (heavy cushion/yoga block/telephone directory) on your feet once you're up- (someone else probably has to place it there, for obvious reasons) can't pretend to know why but it feels exceptionally more relaxing. As someone who has done yoga for around 20 years I would advise caution re doing shoulder stand stage 2 without supervision if you haven't ever done any yoga - is very easy to damage your neck if you aren't straight....

as for shrieking girls, my DS also shrieks when icing his feet - but it is the treatment of choice at his school and he says works like a dream.... :)

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Moomin - you are absolutely correct re correct fitting of compression hosiery. I olny use flight socks as an example as the compression is graduated and they are designed to aid venous return. I'm fairly sure that Skins clothing is safe but you are right to err on the side of caution as unwanted blood pooling can cause serious issues.

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Yes agree about the caution with the shoulder stand! It's easy to forget when you do it regularly that people may try who have no experience. You can ask another family member to check if your head and neck are properly aligned though.

My best advice is to actually take a class of course.

 

We are extremely lucky in Brighton/Lewes area in there seem to be quite a few scaravelli yoga teachers around here(as well as many other kinds) I'm not sure why that is except there may have once been a training centre for this type of yoga in Brighton.

 

Anyway just lying with your legs up the wall is very nice.

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Well after a hectic few days of work plus a run this evening I can vouch for the benefit of the leg drain! My hips feel good and there's a gentle but satisfying stretch in my glutes & hams. If I was doing it properly rather than browsing the internet I'm sure my shoulders would relax too!! :-p

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