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Not your Achilles heel after all…

Pain at the back of the ankle is quite common amongst dancers. Often the pain is ascribed to the Achilles tendon where more often than not it is actually a case of posterior impingement syndrome of the ankle.

Continual demi-pointe, pointe, jump work and deep plies can all irritate the back of your ankle if you are suffering from posterior impingement syndrome. Swelling may also be present either side of the Achilles tendon, and it might be painful to touch deep behind the ankle. Strength and endurance through you calves and feet can also be a struggle.

Susan Mayes, who is the principal physiotherapist with The Australian Ballet, noted in an in-house screening of dancers that those who suffered from compromised ankle/foot strength seemed to be at higher risk of posterior ankle impingement.

The good news is that posterior impingement of the ankle can be quite straight forward to manage in dancers. However, thorough evaluation of your movement, strength and control is needed, followed by appropriate treatment and rehabilitation. Here at PhysioHealth Corrimal, we have the knowledge and expertise to treat dancers of all ages and abilities. If your ankle is causing you grief, then an assessment and treatment program is necessary asap!

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