Get on your dancing shoes.
One of my favourite expressions is ‘Happy wife, happy life’. With that in said, and with my wife being a professional dancer teacher and dance costume designer, it will come of little surprise that the Autumnal TV viewing in the Weaver household is dominated by one TV program, and one alone, woe betide anyone (me) with alternative viewing ideas!
Over the years in pursuit of a happy life, I have endured or should I say enjoyed more than my fair share of ‘Strictly’.
So, I can genuinely say I have watched every moment of this season’s show and have been extremely impressed by the progress of Kelvin. Kelvin’s victory is even more impressive as he was drafted in at the last minute to replace Jamie Laing, who sadly suffered a foot injury in training.
Jamie’s very public dance related foot injury served to highlight the struggles and ‘foot sacrifice’ that dancers have to suffer for their art.
During my career as a Podiatrist I have been very privileged to have worked with many elite athletes and dancers. I have seen first-hand the toll that sport and dance can take on the feet of such athletes and dancers. Broken metatarsal bones, arthritic big toe joints, sprained and torn ankle ligaments, Morton’s neuroma. The list goes on and on.
The very pinnacle of such ‘foot sacrifice’ is that that made by ballet dancers. This is because the ballet dancer has to be able to completely extend the feet and support all of their body weight as they move over the extended feet, a process known as going ‘on pointe’. To be able to go ‘on pointe’ requires years of training.
For most girls in the UK the transition from this training and actually going onto ‘pointe’ takes place between the ages of 11-13, and yet the bones in female developing feet don’t properly harden until somewhere between the ages of 8 and 14.
All of the above take a toll on the dancer’s feet long after they have hung up their ballet shoes, one common condition being Morton’s neuroma. The treatment choice of Morton’s neuroma is especially important for dancers. This is illustrated by the following extract
‘Struck numb’ published online via The Independent.
“The operation was apparently a common one, and was a success, but the after-effects are a total disaster. I am a trained dancer and, before the operation, still did class every day with great pleasure, as I was generally fit and supple. Since the operation, I cannot feel anything in my feet. I have lost my balance, and my ability to jump, move quickly across the floor, or do anything gracefully or easily. The numbness was supposed to go away but it has not. This has robbed me not only of one of the great pleasures of my life, but also of a professional skill (I am an actress). What can I do about this? Is it a hopeless situation? Is there a remedy or an alternative treatment? Why was I not informed of the possible after-effects and given some kind of choice? It has all been a great shock and has seriously diminished my quality of life. I have a high pain threshold and it is possible that if I had known what I now know, I might have preferred the pain.”
Cryosurgery is now the choice of dancers due to the fact that Cryosurgery does not result in permanent numbness. Quite the opposite, after cryosurgery normal sensation is typically restored by 3-4 months. Dancers are also able to resume training as quickly as 6 weeks post treatment.”
If you are lucky enough to dance like Oti and Kelvin, or you just enjoy dancing round your handbag at the Christmas office party, keep on dancing and choose cryosurgery.
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