Ankle injuries in dance are extremely common, but not all are created equal. When can you simply R.I.C.E.? And when do you need to seek professional advice?
You don't want to miss a potentially severe injury such as a fractured bone. Here are three warning signs that you should see an expert:
1. You can't dance (or walk) without pain.
After you rolled your ankle, can you continue dancing? If you can't even bear weight or walk for a few steps, it's a sign of something serious.
2. You feel sharp pain in one spot.
Do a quick test by palpating the ankle's bony landmarks. If there is localized pain along the medial or lateral malleolus (the bony protuberances just above your heel) or tenderness over the navicular bone (on the inner, top part of your foot near the ankle) or fifth metatarsal (on the outer edge of your foot) it means that you need to see a doctor, who will likely prescribe further imaging such as X-rays.
3. You still hurt seriously after about a week.
Even if you can walk and there isn't localized tenderness, seek help if the pain persists for more than one to two weeks.