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Bunion Booties are much more comfortable than rigid splints.. I tried the Bunion Aid and I could never say my toes could move freely, it was the most constricted and painful device I’ve tried for bunions. I couldn’t wear it with shoes or to bed without flinging it across the room in the middle of the night. I much prefer Bunion Booties and yoga to help with bunions. I’ve also noticed that if I avoid white foods that cause inflammation, I’m much more comfortable. Epsom salt is one I always forget about, but is a great suggestion also
- Chronicity 18+ Months
- tape the underneath part of the bunion (the bit where the sole of the foot meets it) - not to change mechanics but to add a second skin. I even used duck tape once when I couldn't get hold of anything else and it got me through a half marathon in good time!
- walk around barefoot whenever possible
- practice squats etc - make sure you're flexible, do whatever you can to ensure correct alignment in all other parts of the body - glute strength etc
- I saw a barefoot running coach and ended up in minimalist shoes after he completely changed my technique. This has helped my running generally, but I am with the people who say that the shoe is only as good as the technique.
- soak feet in white spirit to harden skin (it honestly works but only if you do it regularly - and it really hurts when you have blisters so have a glass of whiskey to hand!)
- stretch your feet
- roll a golf ball around the sole of your foot
- practice picking up marbles with your toes
- always paint your toenails if you're a woman - it makes them look a little bit nicer at least - cheers me up anyway
- keep your ankles as strong as possible
By the way, I've had this problem since I was about 9. Got teased about it in the school changing rooms, was very upsetting at the time. Definitely a hereditary condition as I was never allowed "bad" footwear as a child.
At one point several years ago, my toes were so pissed off that I limped everywhere and began overpronating/walking on my heels in order to avoid putting any pressure on the joints. What helped:
- ibuprofen, yes
- changing to wider shoes with low or no heels, except for extremely rare occasions
- wearing toe separators every night, and as often as possible during the day, to stretch the joint at the base of the big toe (a rolled-up trouser sock or similarly sized cloth object is a good substitute when you're in need)
- manual stretching and massage of the toe joints as well as the swelling itself. In my case, the pointy protrusion that I was initially certain was a bone deformity was a swollen bursal sac, which seemed to soften and become more mobile after progressive massage (progressive mostly because the burning inflammation means that at first it hurts like a mother just to touch the area, but this did get much better).
I have no pain or noticeable pointiness now, but the whole episode taught me to be much kinder to my feet, and I take the time to stretch and massage them now.
- 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.
Go to a good foot doctorfor a diagnosis. You will most likely need to wear some sort of orthotic and be mindful of the shoes you wear. I cut out wearing any sort of heels long ago, and mine are doing O.K. Wearing good shoes (all shoes, not just running), soaking them from time to time in warm water and vinegar (yes, vinegar - stinks, but works), massages and wearing toe separators between your second and big toes certainly help. Recommended shoes are those with large toe boxes. For running, look for those with only mesh where the big toe joint lies in the shoe. Any sort of leather or emblem in that area can really irritate the joint. I wear Asics b/c they always seem to have toe boxes large enough to accomodate my big toe joint.
Most likely mine will require surgery to correct, but I have put that off, as I have been able to run with them fine so far. I've always heard from those who have had bunion surgery that your foot is never the same. One of my doctors told me that the patient will tell the doctor when they need the surgery, and that's when the patient just can't manage the pain.
I recently started having problems with a bunion on my left foot. I've found wearing toe socks around the house feels nice and helps stretch my feet. I generally stick practice barefoot and try to focus on activating my feet. I also like this article:
I started getting a bunion a few years ago that was bothering me more and more. I went to a podiatrist who said not to have the surgery until I couldn't bear the pain for even one more minute—he said apologetically that it's a "barbaric" procedure. Meanwhile, my chiropractor has worked miracles with it—it is noticeably smaller, I don't need my little gel toe spacer thingy anymore, and I no longer wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though someone is thrusting a fire poker through my instep.\",My chiropractor is great,wisekaren,,Female,2/19/2014,,Cured,> 18 months,,,,,
,Bunion,Supportive Shoes,4,I had worsening bunion pain and was considering surgery. However it didn't seem that the surgery actually works very well. Then I came across the book ""Born to Run"" and started reading barefoot running propaganda
- Chronicity 18+ Months
I am now 50 years old and started developing a bunion on my right foot at the age of about 25. I t got progressively worse for about 20 years, and was often red and sore. I learned about wearing bigger shoes about 5 years ago and that helped a lot. I now wear size 12 shoes even though my feet are really 10s, and I always wear an extra wide one. I always try the shoe out to make sure it doesn't rub the bunion. But the really interesting thing is I have had a variety of arthritic conditions in various joints for about the same length of time I've had the bunion, and about 2 years ago had to stop eating wheat gluten because of stomach problems. After I stopped eating wheat gluten, all of my arthritic joint problems went away and so did my bunion inflammation and pain. The toe joint is still not shaped right, but there is no pain at all in 2 years since I stopped eating gluten.
I inherited my bunion woes from my dad's side of the family. My job does not require me to be on my feet all day but I'm always on the go between departments and meetings then it's jogging, dancing and cooking which I love and can't do sitting. At the end of the day I found that I have pain at the joints of both my big toes. A foot spa treatment by soaking the feet in warm water with bath salts or regular Epsom salts then a therapeutic rub with sports balm, which you can have someone do gives temporary relief. However if the problem persists see your health care provider.
I have early bunions and have found 3-4 items (used together) to be very helpful in alleviating any discomfort and (I hope) preventing the bunions from worsening. Injinji Toesocks, Correct Toes spacers, and wearing shoes with a wide toe box (I use Altra brand but there may be others). I also use metatarsal pads though the need for those will vary from person to person. They take some time to get used to, but they provide some additional support to the metatarsal bones.
- Chronicity 18+ Months
I had bunions on both feet for many years and it wasn't till I came to the Philippines that I got rid of them completely. I had two large bunions, one on the top of my big toe and one at the base -- on both feet.
Doctors seem to believe that bunions are caused genetically or by rubbing on the shoe. I think this is bunk. Bunions are caused by deep-seated subdermal fungal/bacterial infestations in these regions. I also had very hard and unusual callous build up all around the back of my heels. And when you think about it, a foot inside a shoe wearing socks etc is a prime region for sweat build up and infections.
What's more, when I came to the Philippines and wore simple sandals and flip-flops every day (not shoes) my bunions still did not improve.
The fastest way to get rid of bunions/hard skin build-up on the feet is to first shave these regions down to the normal skin if you can and then apply a disinfectant like iodine to get rid of any discreet fungal/bacterial infections sub-dermally.
I would also not recommend topical application of lugol's iodine alone. Only about 4%-8% of the iodine is absorbed into the skin this way. But if you use a 50-50 mix of one teaspoon of 70% DMSO(Dimethyl-sulfoxide) and one teaspoon lugol's iodine on the shaved bunion regions, you will get much faster results because of the penetrative and transdermal carrier abilities of DMSO. In other words DMSO carries much more iodine into the skin transdermally giving you faster and quicker outcomes. DMSO is also an anti-inflammatory and will reduce the pain. Result: All bunion pathogens killed with no more bunion formation thereafter.
My mom has the same foot appearance, and had surgery. It didn't help her, and she has had long-term foot pain since. So, I opted against surgery. Yet, orthotics did not help.
What helped me (run a marathon, and has kept me running steady for the year since) was using a second shoe liner to build up height in both shoes, and cutting out a slice of my orthotic and the liner underneath the problem big toe and enough of the toe joint so the toe naturally slides and spreads into that space as the foot hits ground.
This has created much more space and comfort than the orthotics alone ever did. Less residual stiffness, and no taping! This was my physical therapist's idea.
Barefoot running, or running in shoes that have very light support, is great for correcting overpronation.
I went to a physio some time ago for advice on a long-running issue that was stopping me running, and while he was checking my back and legs he noticed I was developing bunions. He told me to go down to a well-known high-street chemist and purchase gel toe-splints, to train my big-toe joint to open up again before they become so inflexible they won't move. I wore them while walking around during the day (not for running) for two weeks and have been noticing how my big-toe joint has straightened out. Physio said this is an essential part of the gait, since it absorbs the impact and helps push off and activate the calf muscle. I have really seen and felt a difference, and they only cost a few quid.
While walking around I also wear toe-socks, which don't encourage the toes to squeeze together. You can get them online from Toe Toe.
I've recently started to do Yamuna Body Rolling foot exercises (though yet to invest in the full kit). It does seem to help realign the big toe joint.
Running is actually the part of my life where my bunions give me the least trouble! Finding everyday shoes that don't exacerbate the problem but are smart enough for work / going out is the bigger issue. Can't live in barefoot shoes as much as I would love to.
- Chronicity 18+ Months
I developed a bunion more than twenty years ago. I heard shark cartilage could help so I started taking it. The bunion shrank and I never even considered having surgery as my friend, Sandy, did. More recentyly I have used Tiger Balm (red) on it with good success as well.
Having suffered from bunions for some time the pain was becoming unbearable. Looking for a cure on the internet I came across this site and my goodness rubbing my bunion with turmeric eased the pain straightaway. It can be messy but just use rubber glove and place towel under foot and rub away the pain. It is so soothing. I used about 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric and massaged into my bunion until it was soothed. It really does work