A Painful Bulge in the Inner Arch

This dancer developed a sharp constant pain on the medial side of their arch, and noticed a bulge starting to develop, while in their first year of university in a Ballet program…


Hi Lisa,


While I was in my first year of university in a Ballet program I developed a sharp constant pain on the medial side of my arch and noticed a bulge starting to develop. I asked my physio (who had treated me for a previous injury and worked a lot with dancers) he addressed the problem and gave me exercises and told me to massage through my arches and the bulge and sent me to a foot specialist. This new doctor had no idea what was wrong and ordered an ultrasound, after the ultrasound, he said he still had no idea and so we would do some research to see if he could find a solution. I was really happy to hear that he was going to put in extra time to fix this, but I never heard from him again.

After being so disappointed I just danced through the pain and eventually, it went away and only comes back every now and then, but the bulge is still there and no one could figure out what was wrong with my feet. Without the pain, I found no reason to pursue a solution further.

It is no nice to know that there are people like you out there who are making a difference in the way dancers are treated.




Hi Kenley 


Thanks so much for your question. I have had a few dancers with this – and sometimes the bulge is actually misleading… It may actually be the muscle belly of Abducens Hallucis – a very important muscle that controls the big toe. Often this muscle will build in bulk if other muscles in the foot are not very strong, and your load of dancing is increased… So that is why it may appear at the same time.


Make sure that you really focus on working all of the tiny muscles in the feet to support the arch – as in our Advanced Foot Control Program and wear soft supportive insoles when you are not dancing.

I hope this helps!




Injury & Foot Resources

If you are looking to delve deeper into this topic, check out the following programs:

  • Will I Ever Dance Again: The “Will I Ever Dance Again?” program is perfect if you are unable to train at full capacity, whether this is due to a foot injury, surgery, an accident or illness outside of the studio. It helps you build back to full capacity gradually, while maintaining strength, flexibility and control in the rest of the body.
  • Level One Dance Teacher and Therapist Training: This unique course covers a multitude of assessment and treatment techniques to individualise a dancer's training. With special focuses on Postural Control, Core Stability, Flexibility, Basic Classical Technique, The Dancers Hip, Allegro, Spinal Mobility and Arabesques, it is suitable for anyone working closely with dancers.