A bunion, known as hallux valgus can be a painful deformity of the bones and the joint between the foot and big toe. It’s a bony bump that forms on the joint where your big toe meets your foot – called the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. It happens slowly over time, and eventually gets bigger and sticks out. It can make your big toe turn in, sometimes so far that it moves on top of the toe next to it.
- Pain on the inside of your foot at the big toe joint
- Swelling on the inside of your foot at the big toe joint
- Appearance of a “bump” on the inside edge of your foot
- The big toe rolling over to one side
- Redness on the inside of your foot at the big toe joint
- Numbness or burning in the big toe (hallux)
- Decreased motion at the big toe joint
- Painful bursa (fluid-filled sac) on the inside of your foot at the big toe joint
- Pain while wearing shoes – especially shoes too narrow or with high heels
- Joint pain during activities
Under repetitive pressure, the joint between the foot and the big toe can move out of place, swell and turn inwards which results in a painful and stiff bony protrusion on the side of the foot.
Conditions that make your joints swell and hurt, like rheumatoid arthritis, can lead to bunions. People who are flat footed tend to excessively roll their feet inwards which can have an effect on the development of bunions. Too much rolling in of the feet causes over-pronators to put excess stress on the metatarsal joint during the push-off phase of running.
Asians tend to have a wider forefoot. Hence, wearing shoes with a narrow toe box can cause or worsen bunions at times. Shoes that don’t fit well can, especially if they cramp your toes.
TYPES OF BUNION
This happens most often in girls between ages 10 and 15, which may have to do with changes in footwear around that age, but boys can get them, too. Unlike adults, young people who have bunions can usually move their big toe, but it still hurts. Teens typically get them because it runs in their families, and not necessarily because of a health condition.
This is a bunion that forms on the joint where your little toe meets your foot. It’s also called a “tailor’s bunion.” Tailors were known to sit cross-legged for long hours, which put pressure on that side of their feet and this leads to bunions near their pinky toes.
 Change Shoes: This might be all you need to do to manage bunion pain. The shoes should have lots of room for your toes and heels lower than 2 inches. High heels put pressure on the front of your foot and can cause bunions and other problems
 Ice: To ease swelling and pain, wrap a bag of frozen vegetables or crushed ice in a towel and put it on your bunion. Do not to leave it on longer than 20 minutes at a time as it can cause ice burn because your foot has less tissue and muscle than other parts of your body
 Padding: Special pads of your correct size only can cushion the area near the bunion that hurts. Consult your physiotherapist
ADDRESSING THE SYMPTOMS
It is important to have a good fitting shoe with ample space for your toes. Besides that, the pain and stress on the bunion can be reduced by taping the foot in a normal position before a run. A toe separator can be placed between your big and second toe with a padding taped to the big toe
Modifying your running style can also reduce the stress on your big toe. Avoid exerting increased pressure on your big toe when running by trying to put more weight on the outer part of your foot instead, especially during initial contact and in mid stance. This will decrease the pressure on the big toe during the push off phase.
EXERCISES FOR BUNION RELIEF AND PREVENTION
Whether you’re in the midst of pain from a bunion or you’re trying to prevent one from forming, performing regular exercises designed for both treatment and prevention can help keep your feet healthy and, hopefully, free from surgery.
 Toe points and curls: This works on your toe joints by flexing the muscles under your feet. Sit on a surface with your feet about 6 inches away from the floor. Point and curl your toes slowly. Do this for 20 reps for 2 to 3 sets.
 Toe spread-outs: While sitting, place your foot on the floor. With your heel fixed to the ground, lift and spread your toes. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times on each foot
 Toe circles: This mobilizes the joints in your toe and helps to reduce stiffness. While sitting on a chair, lean over and grip your big toe. Begin circling the toe clockwise, 20 times. Stop and reverse the direction for another 20 circles. Complete 2 to 3 sets on each toe
 Assisted toe abduction with exercise band: Wrap an exercise band around both of your big toes. With the band tight, pull both big toes away from the other toes with a small exercise band. When fully extended, hold for 5 seconds, then release and repeat the motion for 20 reps
 Ball roll: Place a tennis or lacrosse ball on the floor and put your foot on top. Roll your foot back and forth over the ball. Repeat this motion for 3 to 5 minutes on each foot, even if the bunion is only on one foot
 Towel grip and pull: Place a small towel or washcloth on the floor. Sit down and grip the towel with your toes and pull it towards you. Only use your toes to scrunch the towel. Repeat this motion for up to 5 minutes
 Marble pickup: For this exercise, you’ll need a bowl and 10 to 20 marbles. Place the marbles on the floor and put the bowl close by. Sit on a surface with your feet close to the ground. With your toes, pick up each marble and place it in a bowl. Make sure to grip your toe around the marble
 Figure eight rotation: This exercise is similar to the toe circle, but you’ll move your toe in a figure eight motion rather than a circle. This helps with flexibility and range of motion. Repeat 10 times on each toe for 2 to 3 sets
 Barefoot beach walking: This exercise depends on your location. If you have a beach nearby, give this exercise a try by walking barefoot in the sand. It will feel like a foot massage while also helping to strengthen the muscles in your feet and toes
 Heel raise: While sitting, place your foot flat on the floor. Lift your heel and put most of the weight toward the outside of the ball of your foot. Hold for 5 seconds and return to the floor. Repeat 10 times on each foot
Bunions can be a real pain. They cause a lot of discomfort as well as also interrupt day-to-day functions and interfere with the activities one enjoys. Fortunately, there are lifestyle modifications and exercises that can help ease your symptoms and prevent future bunions. Additionally Vissco’s products such as Bunion Splint, Toe Spreader, Superfly Insole, Proactive Insoles, Metatarsal cushion, Active Cool Refreezable cold pack, Active Band(Physical Resistance Bands) will aid in addressing the bunions at various stages
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