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 ruptured plantar fascia during 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, and plantar fasciitis, the list goes on and on.
The very pinnacle of such ‘foot sacrifice’ is 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’.
Going on pointe after frequently jumping and landing stretches the plantar fascia to it's limits, and it's not surprising that dancers can develop chronic plantar fascia pain & thickening and like Jamie, tears and rupture of the plantar fascia.
Furthermore, dancers are especially prone to plantar fasciitis because unlike other athletes they don’t get rest days.
Professional footballers, for instance, are rested between matches and training sessions to prevent overuse injuries, however, dancers have to train more or less every day to maintain strength, conditioning, and flexibility that very quickly disappears with rest.
The treatment choice of chronic plantar fasciitis is especially important for dancers.
Cryosurgery is now the treatment choice of dancers due to the fact that Cryosurgery does not involve any cutting or ‘releasing’ of the plantar fascia which can often contribute to long-term instability of the foot, which can be disastrous for a ballet dancer who needs to go on pointe.
Unlike conventional plantar fascia release surgery, cryosurgery does not involve the cutting of any ligament tissue, tendon, or muscle or bone, and there is also no risk of accidental nerve damage. What’s more, dancers are also able to resume training as quickly as 6 weeks post-treatment.
So, 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 life choose cryosurgery.