The English National Ballet produced a beautiful performance of Cinderella. Amongst the graceful dancers was Jennie Harrington and this was her lifetime ambition; to join and perform with the English National Ballet. She was overwhelmed with satisfaction and joy but at the same time she was overridden by an irrepressible pain. On heading back stage the senior dancers consoled her that she will get used to it. It is rarely known that behind the elegant and heavenly performances of professional ballet dancers, their feet take the beating the most. The lovely pink, silk shoes hide a pair of battered feet which have purple swellings, black nails and growths that represent fractured and overused bones. The shoes that professional ballet dancers use to give the illusion of dancing on toes, are called pointe shoes. They are made up of layers of paper and glue or hessian triangles. This leads to common problems for dancers to suffer from corns, blisters and bunions. Constantly wearing tight shoes with compressed feet invariably leads to such ailments. While some ailments are skin related such as corns and blisters, conditions like bunion are related to the bone. Bunion is a condition wherein one of the toes, usually the big toe begins to grow into the other toes. This could be caused by wearing high heeled or pointed shoes for long hours and could develop in women other than dancers too. If detected early, bunions can be prevented or treated. But if symptoms are ignored, surgery may be necessary. Some of the symptoms and treatment methods are mentioned below.
Signs & Symptoms
Some of the common symptoms of bunions are pain, redness and swelling. One of the main symptoms is the development of bulge on inside area of the base of the big toe. Other symptoms include swelling and soreness at the joint of the big toe. The big toe is affected because of its deformation and alignment towards the smaller toes , resulting in bunion.
- If the kind of bunion you have is not acute, measures like washing feet with warm water, wearing shoes that fit well and are made of material which is comfortable, may provide relief.
- In earlier days, amputation of the toe deformed used to be the treatment. But with advancement in the medical field and surgical techniques, it is possible to realign the bone with corrective methods. Along with orthotic devices, this surgical procedure is considered to effective and gives good results.
- Surgeries are performed to treat bunions through different ways either by trimming the part of the bone that is malformed, removal of the bunion or retarding further growth of bunion.
- Bunions unlike corns are more severe and are usually treated surgically. Though both conditions restrict walking and are painful, they are entirely different ailments. Corns are only skin related and rarely require surgery to be treated. Whereas bunions are bone related and invariably need surgical treatment to align the deformation.