Ice for Bunion
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- Chronicity 18+ Months
I've got bunions - found out about 2.5 years ago from my sports med doctor, and they were already pretty far along at that point. He basically gave me some pointers on how to manage them and told me that I should opt for surgery as soon as the pain became too much for my active lifestyle. Currently, I consider my bunion issues to be manged quite well, although I realize I am on borrowed time because they become painful if I am not 100% perfect or when I run over 16 miles or so. My weekly workout schedule consists of 2-3 hours strength training, 3 hours of cross training, and anywhere from 25-45 miles per week of running (depending on the season). I am trying to avoid surgery in general, because surgery can reduce range of motion in the big toe.
Here are some things I absolutely must do to keep my pain managed:
1) ALWAYS wear arch support and shoes in general, with the exception of yoga or pilates. I should note that I also have very flat feet, which makes the arch support doubly important. You can get arch support for most types of shoes if you look around.
2) SHOES: Avoid wearing any shoes that pinch the toes in the front. The wider the toebox, the better. I only wear heels for going out, and even then I risk paying for it over the next three days. For work, choose comfort brands and avoid heels (I have luck with ecco, indigo by clarks/clarks, and privo). Never wear shoes that are unsupportive in front (such as ballet flats, driving mocs, flipflops), stiffer is beter. For running, you don't necessarily need those super supportive bunion shoes. I run in plain old stability New Balance shoes with an arch support, because they tend to be nice and wide in the front. Be sure to check out a running store because they are used to dealing with bunion issues.
3) REHAB: My toe is more comfortable when in a straight position, so I tape a toe spacer between my toes at night (you can get them at any drugstore - I actually use two per toe). If my bunions are acting up, I'll also tape my toes before running or working out. There are also some exercises that I do.
4) EXERCISE CHANGES: Complete at least 33% of my weekly running mileage on either a treadmill or an unpaved trail to lessen the impact on my feet. I also avoid exercises that will cause me to go up on my toes (such as lunges and calf raises).
5) WHEN BUNIONS ARE ACTING UP: Ice the inflamed area and take Aleve. This is what I have found to work best for me.
Good to read I was told last year I needed 3 different surgical procedures on my left foot for bunion (remove) hyperextended toe (pin) and morton's neuroma (remove nerve). The thought of failure propelled me to ice my foot for a year every day for 10 mins and strengthen with roller exercises. 12 months later I ran a PB at Edinburgh marathon aged 51. Bit of a miracle really. Surgery definately only when all other options have gone. I have blogged about it extensively at:: www.thegrimrunner.tumblr.com