Are your bunions bothering you? Bunions are an acquired deformity of the big toe joint which can be very painful in certain shoes and reduce your efficiency in running and walking. They are caused by a gradual drifting of the big toe towards the minor toes, causing an increased angle in the joint which the body attempts to compensate for by creating extra bone around the joint, leading to the classic lump on the inside of the joint.
Shoes have traditionally got the blame for this condition but, although too tight shoes certainly don’t help, the fact is you inherit them and just wearing the right shoes is not going to stop you from getting bunions if they are in your DNA. Fortunately there are options available short of surgery to make your bunions more comfortable and improve efficiency in running and walking.
1. Avoid tight shoes
Wearing tight shoes increases pressure on the bunion causing pain. Shoes which lack stiffness in the inner sole can also increase pressure on the big toe joint.
2. Wear supportive lace up shoes
Lace up trainer type shoes are the best type of shoe for bunions as you can adjust the lacing for comfort, and the stiffer inner sole reduces ground contact pressure over the big toe joint as you push off from the ground.
3. Feets of strength
Simple foot strengthening exercises, such as scrunching up a towel with your toes, can help to increase strength in the foot muscles supporting the big toe joint and this can help to stabilise the joint, increasing efficiency when running and walking. Here is a link to some ‘foot gym’ exercises on my You Tube channel which can easily be done at home with no special equipment.
4. Orthotics can help
orthotics are specialised supportive insoles which can help to stabilise the foot and shift forces away from the painful area reducing joint stress and relieving pain. It is important to understand that orthoses are not able to correct an existing bunion deformity, but can give significant pain relief, delaying the need for an operation.
Of course, the only way to get rid of a bunion is to have an operation to straighen the toe and remove the bony callus, but there are many things you can do to reduce your bunion pain and make your life more pleasant before you have to submit to the surgeon’s knife!
If you are struggling with your bunions despite doing all the above, get in touch with us at Active to find out how we can help stop your bunions from bullying you!