Ballet Pointe Shoes - New to Pointe and Cramp Pain

by Rachel

Ballet Pointe Shoes - New to Pointe and Cramp Pain

I have been doing ballet for 11 years now and also do a lot of extra types of dance throughout my week. I am new to pointe work and have had them for only 3 weeks. During the past year I have had weak ankles and knees but I got the 'ok' from my ballet teacher. I am still super excited to have them and use them, however when I go up on them, I always get cramp on the joint of my fourth toe. Never anywhere else which is really strange

Admittedly I do not have the best arches and my shoe is still quite hard but I'm trying to work on that. But still the pain from the cramp makes it horrible to work in for the time. Usually I only go on them for about 10 minutes. Even so it tends it cramp up within the first couple of minutes. I am trying to pointe my toes a lot so I get better arches but all that happens is that I get cramp. I would to think that I have quite a healthy diet so I don't really think that it's anything to do with that.

I tend to tie my ribbons quite tight. Usually I will have an outline of what the ribbon looks like on my ankle which is really funny. Could that possibly be a reason for getting a cramp? The drawstring was tightened by my ballet teacher. I use an ouch pouch for padding. I hope you know what that is but if you don't its the pads with gel inside. They seem to give me enough support on my feet and my ballet teacher uses them when she goes up on her pointe shoes.

I've squished the box so it's not as rounded anymore which seemed to help slightly. My shoes are Bloch suprima and I got them fitted by one of the ladies that work there. That was a really fun day out and Bloch is so pretty.

So ultimately I would like to know if the cramp is something I can sort out.
Thank you


Reply by Odette
To:- Ballet Pointe Shoes - New to Pointe and Cramp Pain

Hello Rachel,
Thank you for your message, it's great to hear from you. I hope my advice will help solve your cramping in your toe. I've experienced cramp from time to time and I know it's certainly not the most pleasant feeling at all. It is painful and immediately puts your muscle out of useful action.

The first thing that springs to mind to why your toe is cramping is you're trying too hard. This sounds crazy, but when you over tense your muscles they are almost always likely to go into cramp. It happens when you try really hard to pointe your toes, or use a certain muscle, it gets over worked and therefore goes into cramp.

Especially as you say you are trying to pointe your toes really hard, you still need to do this, but try to change your technique so you are lengthening your toes as you pointe them. Don't think of squeezing or curling your toes, but keep them long as you pointe.

I don't think the ribbons are the cause for cramping, because it's too far away from your toe to have a huge effect. Nor your ouch pouches, because I wear the same type too. Even though some would say it's more advisable to wear less padding like animal wool, which makes you feel your toes more in the shoe, but this has always been too painful for me.

I trust your shoe is the right fit too, so next time in your class try to focus more on your technique in the pointe shoe. The way you pointe your toes is just as important when you are wearing demi-pointe shoes, so apply the lengthening of the toes in all your classes.

Let me know your thoughts and I will be happy to help out.

Best wishes,

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