Bunions

A Bunion is an enlargement and displacement of the joint of the big toe. It is often associated with the big toe moving towards the smaller toes. Sometimes the big toes can move so far that it crowds the smaller toes, and often the second to will overlap the big toe.

This is caused by a biomechanical problem in the foot. There is a muscle in the lower leg called the Peroneus Longus. It runs along the outside of the lower leg, goes under the ankle bone on the outside, then it runs under the arch of the foot, and attaches at the base of the First Metatarsal. When this muscle fires or contracts it pulls on this Metatarsal bone to keep it held in place. As the foot flattens out more than it should the angle that this muscle pulls is changed, and it becomes less effective. The Metatarsal bone will move out from the pressure, and the toe will begin to buckle due to the forces.

How can PodSoles Orthotics help Bunions? 

Orthotics will never correct the Bunion if it has already been formed. They can help the bunion from getting any worse, and they can also prevent the problem from occurring by balancing up the foot biomechanically to re-distribute body-weight evenly and relieve pressure. This will return the pull of this muscle to normal angle, thus preventing the big toe from drifting.

Exercise to Treat Bunions

Exercise is an essential component in the treatment of bunions, it should not be optional. Soft-tissue therapy without exercise can only achieve a certain level of results, and the probability of the bunion returning becomes very high. It has been well established that weak hip muscles are directly related to an increase in abnormal foot pronation, and abnormal pronation has been shown to accelerate the formation of bunions. In such cases, to prevent a reoccurrence of the bunion, you need to do exercises to strengthen and correct the weak hip muscle.

The following are examples of some of the exercises that we prescribe for our patients. (This is not a complete exercise protocol for bunion treatment.)

Exercise Examples:
  • Strengthening the feet
    • Exercise #1: Sit down, with your feet flat on the floor, and keeping your heels planted on the ground throughout the exercise. Now raise just your toes off the ground (as far up as you can) while keeping your mid-foot on the ground. Maintain the “toes up” position for 15 seconds with maximum tension, then bring your toes down. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
    • Exercise #2: Sit in a chair with your toes on the edge of a towel. Flex and curl your toes to grasp the towel and pull it under your toes. Repeat 5 to 10 times.
  • Stretching and mobilizing your foot: Keeping your toes mobile and flexible will help to reduce pain.
    • Exercise #1: Sit on a chair, and cross your foot over your knee. Grasp the heel of foot with one hand; grasp your big toe with the other hand. Rotate and stretch your big toe in all directions (do not overstress the joint). At end-range, hold the stretch for 10 to 15 seconds. Repeat this procedure several times in all directions.
    • Exercise #2: Stand upright, and wrap an exercise band around both big toes. Move your feet apart until your toes are straightened (keeping the elastic band taut between your feet), then hold this straightened position for several minutes. Repeat several times.