Ladies we need to talk about bunions!
Okay, so you’ve got a ‘nobbly’ bit of bone sticking out the side of your big toe joint and it looks like it’s getting worse. Your Grandma probably had really bad feet and you’ve ignored it long enough but now something needs to be done. You’ve heard about bunions but not really sure if that’s what you’ve got. Sound like you?
Bunions are one of the most common conditions I see as a Podiatrist. So what exactly are they? Bunions are NOT an extra growth of bone out the side of your big toe joint like most people think. It is actually when the bones themselves around the big toe joint have slowly dislocated or subluxed over time. (See gorgeous picture below from Pexels).
Sometimes people will get pain in the actual big toe joint itself but not always. A lot of the time when a client presents to me for advice, they are actually experiencing pain on the balls of their feet, arches and heels; have little corns on their toes or even ingrown toenails. These are all a consequence of bunions and usually only get worse over time. Because the Bunion has changed the shape of the forefoot you are now not functioning correctly.
How do you fix this? …everyone is different so a detailed individual assessment is indicated. However, general ways to help would include getting the right types of shoes sorted for you so that your foot is supported without being squashed in a shoe. Particular strengthening exercises can also help (try picking up a towel with your toes – it will be much harder than you think!). Orthotics are the gold standard way to support your foot/bunion joint and prevent it dislocating further. I find the treatment works best when combined with correct shoes and strengthening exercises.
If corns are an issue then custom made dividers can work a treat! Ingrown toenails can also be cleared painlessly by myself.
Wow! I bet you didn’t think bunions could be so complex! Welcome to my world. Everybody is different and that means everyone’s feet are different too… usually your left foot compared to your right foot is also different. Therefore I can’t stress enough how important it is to get an individual treatment plan and assessment.
If pain persists after trying conservative treatment you can then have a surgical opinion, however I’m not one to jump into surgery straight away. A significant number of cases I see can be resolved without this- so it is definitely worth a try before going under the knife.
If you have any questions at all about bunions or anything foot related feel free to contact me. I a very passionate about providing efficient and effective foot care to women (aka treatment that actually works!) and would love to hear your thoughts.
If you are reading this and are experiencing pain then I would urge you to book an appointment with me today.