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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #1 
DD7 took an hour long pre-ballet class last year with no issues. This year she is taking an hour and 25 min ballet 1 class once a week. We are one month into it and she is complaining of the arch of one of her feet hurting after every class. She has no issues during other dance classes, just ballet. And it's enough to make her limp for a few hours after. She talked to the DT after class today and she suggested rolling her foot on top of a tennis ball to massage it, but that's about it. I am wondering if there is anything that she might be doing wrong in class that would cause this, or is it just part of the game?
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Mom2Girls

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Reply with quote  #2 
I can't tell you what's causing it, but I can tell you that is not just part of the game...at any age but most especially at 7.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #3 
Can she describe the pain? Is it sharp? Burning? It is in the middle of her foot, closer to the ball or closer to the heel? Does she naturally have high, low or medium arches? 

I hope the teacher will take a closer look at what she's doing and what is going on. The tennis ball recommendation is a good one for relief, but doesn't answer the question of why. There can be a wide range of answers to the question of why here... it can be something she is doing, it can be a result of shoes she wears when not in class, it could be that she is just really learning to work that foot and straining a little too much, etc. 
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ballerinamom13

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, pain in ballet is part of the game.  But you should make every effort to find out if she's doing something incorrectly, if it's lack of strength, or something else.  If you do ballet, you will have pain, no matter what shape you are in, but if she's doing something wrong, it could lead to injury.

ETA - agree.  Not THAT type of pain, especially at 7 years old.  But don't kid yourselves, there is much pain in ballet.
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ggsmith

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Reply with quote  #5 
You might consider asking her primary care doctor to look at her feet.  I don't think that type of pain is part of the game.  DD had a friend who had similar problems around that age.  She was quite tall for her age and very lanky.  I don't remember the diagnosis, but she was prescribed ortho inserts for her regular shoes and some exercises and had to take some time off dance and even PE at school for a while when the pain worsened.  She was taking ballet 2 x 90 a week at that time, plus a character class. 

When DD was cleared by her teachers for pointe last summer I took her to her PCP and he found that her ankles were tight and recommended stretching.  After some changes in her feet over the summer we went back and he referred her to a podiatrist.  Apparently she has flat feet and this is causing the tightness in her calves and ankles.  I wouldn't have known that looking at her feet, and I'd not been told that by any of her teachers or her doc previously.  Braces and exercises may prevent further changes in her feet and long term problems for DD. 

It probably isn't anything serious, but if you have access to medical care it never hurts to be cautious.  Whatever the future holds for them in the dance world, they'll be using their feet for a very long time.
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Btfdmom

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Reply with quote  #6 
My DD had a similar issue at the beginning of the year last year. Our family doctor recommended a sports Physiotherapist who taught us how to tape it and gave her some exercised to do. About 4 weeks in she was no longer complaining. I would definitely take her to a doctor and see what they say, it could be so many things.
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EJIDance

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you! I will mention it to her doctor. The DT told DD to tell her as soon as the foot starts hurting next time, not at the end of class. So hopefully that might help pinpoint the problem as well. I honestly have no clue as to the height of DD's arches. They seem average to me - she can't touch her toes to the floor when sitting with legs straight and her releve isn't the highest but then again isn't the lowest either. I wouldn't know how to judge the whole arch/instep thing though.
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JulieDB

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Reply with quote  #8 
I would take her to the Dr.  I'm a former dancer and I don't recall ever having pain in my feet.  I did get leg and ankle pain.  I had weak muscles.

My daughter had plantar fasciitis which can cause that sort of pain but she did not get it from dance.  And she was older.
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camercad

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Reply with quote  #9 
I'd also consider taking her to a physical therapist with experience working with dancers. At DD's first intensive, she developed tendonitis, in which she learned that she was not taking care of her feet very well. We switched to more supportive footwear (we threw away all those cheap flip-flops) and she followed a stretching and strengthening exercise routine developed by the PT. She hasn't had a problem since.
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MinnDanceMom

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Reply with quote  #10 
Sounds like maybe tendonitis (or maybe not). The tennis ball thing is a good suggestion. But a sports medicine/orthopedic doc can help you more with what is going on. Flip flops have been known to wreck feet.
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tendumom

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Reply with quote  #11 
I'll echo the suggestion for no flat unsupportive shoes and no flip flops. 

Dd has been to at least one summer program that banned flip flops (though I think some kids ignore that) and one year round program that had a strong recommendation against dancers of any age wearing flip flops for anything other than going to the pool or the beach. 
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