Pronation has been linked with shin splints, plantar fasciitis, stress fractures and tendonitis. Pronation leads to stretched ligaments of the foot and ankle, leading to ankle instability. Chronic pronation of the foot can lead to chronic injuries. If you perform Irish dancing and have pronation, this might help you.

Pronation occurs at what is traditionally called ‘the hinge joint’. Its main function is to allow flexion and extension of the ankle. The subtalar joint below allows pronation and supination movements of the foot which aids balance and improves shock absorption. Pronation is the inward rolling of the foot at the ankle during activity such as walking, running and dancing of course. Some pronation is natural but excessive pronation can lead to chronic injuries and can lead to strains and sprains when dancing.

I have attended many majors this year and have treated more than 30 ankle injuries during these events.. YES THAT’S 30!!!! And a high percentage of these dancer’s experienced a similar injury in the past but never did anything to avoid it in the future. So if you have suffered an ankle injury in the past or if you know someone who has, keep reading because this might help you or them. Better still, TAG them in this post.

Cause of Injury

  • Stretched or torn tendons from previous ankle injuries
  • Weak or fatigued lower leg muscles
  • Uneven training surfaces
  • Unsuitable or worn footwear

Signs and symptoms

  • Knee pain, Hip pain, heel pain
  • Pain when landing after jumping
  • Visible inward rolling of the foot
  • Instability
  • Repeated ankle injuries

Immediate treatment

For chronic ankle injuries seek help from a professional or throw me a message. For acute injuries, some exercises may need to be avoided and others may need to be introduced to speed up recovery.


NO ICE unless you are in severe pain!! If you have spoken to me in the past about this or attended a workshop or private session, then you know why 😀

In very rare cases surgery is needed.

Rehabilitation and prevention

Some tips:

  • Warm up properly – follow my Book & DVD ‘Upping Your Step’ for more information on this.
  • Perform suitable stretching exercises and strengthening exercises frequently
  • Complete a rehabilitation program before returning to Irish Dancing – easier said than done I know, but if an injury occurs often, it’s better to deal with it now and hopefully not have to worry about it the day of a big major!


Rehabilitation Exercises


Check out my video on Youtube for exercises. Click on the link below.

Thank you for reading.

Peter O’ Grady

The Author of Upping Your Step. A training book and DVD for Irish Dancing.

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