When you’re a dancer, or any athlete, often times thewarning signs of an injury get ignored. An experienced dancer hasdanced through enough pains and discomfort to begin to believe thatmost problems are simply bothersome nuisances that will work themselvesout with some OTC painkillers, ice and Tiger Balm. But persistentand/or recurring discomfort is worthy of a second look, as earlydetection of an injury is the key to preventing it from becoming aserious issue that could leave you sitting next to the floorinstead of dancing on it. Worse yet, if your livelihood depends on yourdancing, being sidelined with an injury can be a dire predicament foryour financial health as well. Local injection of corticosteroids often gives temporary or permanent relief, but may be painful, especially if not combined with a local anesthetic and injected slowly with a small-diameter needle.5 Recurrence rates may be lower if injection is performed under ultrasound guidance.6 Repeated steroid injections may result in rupture of the plantar fascia. This may actually improve pain initially, but has deleterious long-term consequences. Stretching before exercising or walking Stretching your calf muscles and Achilles tendon will help relieve the pain. This can be done with the traditional calf stretch leaning against a wall and extending one leg back, pressing your heel to the ground for about 10 seconds. Insertional injuries are generally more common in high arch feet, where it can be harder to lift the heel off the ground. This causes increased strain in the attachment and increased compression on the Achilles where it lays over the bone. Haglund’s can be quite painful, particular for those who wear tight football boots. The heel counter of the boot continually irritates the heel. Sometimes softening the back of the heel counter of the boot or trainer with a hammer can solve the problem. However, large Haglund’s may require surgical excision, so it is always worth checking with your clinician for further heel pain advice. Purchase a "night splint" to hold your foot in the proper position to maintain the length of the tight calf muscle and prevent pressure from sheets and blankets from further irritating the injury. The best treatment, of course, is prevention. In this case, keep up your heel stretches as outlined above. If you have the propensity to get Plantar Fasciitis, without this stretching it could easily return in either foot. Also, continue to wear supportive insoles and shoes rather than sandals, minimally supportive shoes or going barefoot whenever possible. If you take care of your feet and your body, they will take care of you. Over-pronation occurs when we pronate too deep and for too long, not giving the foot a chance to 'recover' and supinate. The foot stays flexible at all times. Over-pronators use a lot more energy when walking. Worse, over-pronation causes an imbalance throughtout the entire body, putting excessive strain on the feet, legs, knees and lower back. This puts a lot of strain on the leg muscles (especially the calf muscles), causing aching legs and shin splints. Also, the twisting of the lower leg displaces the patella (knee cap). The knee is a hinge joint, designed to flex and extend (like a door, if you like). It’s not designed to rotate!