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Dance Physical Therapy for the Leg and Foot: Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinopathy

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In dance, great emphasis is placed on achieving maximal turnout from the hips. The ideal illusion of "perfect" turnout, 90° of external rotation in each hip, is rarely attained yet is regularly achieved with some knee and foot involvement. The practice of working beyond the physical limitations of the body gives rise, in part, to compensatory mechanisms or malalignment of the leg, foot, and ankle complex. Forced or poorly controlled turn out may promote abnormal or excessive pronation. Physical limitations that impair full usage of turn out and the subsequent compensatory mechanisms will be considered. Abnormal or excessive pronation is discussed as one of several etiologies in the development of leg, foot, and ankle injuries in dancers. Further, using plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy as examples, evaluation and effective rehabilitation strategies are described. Rehabilitation programs for dancers need to be carefully designed to normalize function and promote compliance. Therefore, the treatment programs described for dancers combine traditional rehabilitation with the correction of maladaptive techniques and specific information regarding modifications to the dance regimen during the healing process.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Doctor of Philosophy in Dance Candidate at Esther Boyer College of Music, Department of Dance, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 2: Adjunct Professor, Department of Physical Performance and Development, College of Education, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication date: 2000-06-01

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