Happy Bunion ‘s Story
A bunion is a bond malformation at the base of the big toes.
Leading causes are:
- foot stress
- high foot arch
- wearing high heels
- narrow shoes
A bunion is often correlated to Osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis is due to the cartilage degeneration that separates 2 bonds.
In this case, the 2 bonds are at the base of the big toes.
This result in pain at big toe extension and during walking.
- Visible malformation, like a bump, on the side of the big toes joint;
- Sharp pain in the thumb;
- Difficulties in walking;
- The big toes point laterally, towards the other toes
About what to do for a bunion presentation, is to get in touch with a podiatrist, as soon as possible.
Massage therapy is recommended too, but it is a limited tool for helping in fixing the issue.
Along with Remedial Massage, Thai Massage, Myotherapy and MLD treatment, what can be done to alleviate the pain is to treat the surrounding structures, such as the plantar of the foot, and the metatarsal area.
So, is it possible to alleviate bunion pain and or invert the condition?
Yes, it is.
That’s why today’s blog’s post is called “Happy Bunion Story”.
So, back in Dec. ’21, Steph start having foot pain, due to osteoarthritis.
The reasons behind her conditions are:
- High foot arch
- Long hour standing up for work (she is an amazing Wedding and Fashion photographer)
- Wearing high heels (she used to do modelling)
The combination of those resulted in a degeneration of big toes cartilage and a bunion forming.
As Steph was complaining about pain in the big toes, I told her about what possibly was happening there.
Soon after, she visited her GP and got some X-Ray done, and the result was not much of a surprise.
After finding out about her new condition, Steph consulted a podiatrist, who suggested starting a daily routine of exercises for her big toes.
- Resisted big toes flexion (with a rubber band)
- Wearing spacer in between the toes
- Toes abduction from a seated position.
But this is not all.
The podiatrist even told her to wear an insole in her shoes.
Furthermore, she was recommended to buy a specific type of shoes, that “protect her foot”.
I did see the shoes myself, and I can tell you that didn’t look any good at all.
They were thick, big, and didn’t look comfortable to wear.
Another podiatrist opinion
A few months did pass by and for my own flat feet condition, I went to see Andy, a podiatrist that promotes the usage of barefoot wear.
As I was talking to Andy about my feet, I couldn’t resist getting an opinion in regard to what Steph was going through.
Andy without much hesitation suggested that she should try to go for barefoot shoes, and keep going with the exercises.
Next thing we went down to Sole Mechanic, in Hampton a shoe shop, specialising in barefoot wear.
Beforehand we did some research on different brands and we decide to give a goal to the barefoot shoes “Vivo Barefoot”.
Sole Mechanic Experience
The experience at Sole Mechanic was a positive one.
We did book an appointment for 2 of us, 1 hour all up, so the staff has enough time to guide you through what barefoot is about and what’s the best option.
We went through ankle and toes Range Of Motion, barometric platform test and we then try a couple of shoes each.
Vivobarefoot, given its ethical approach to shoe wear, was since the start our choice, and so far, the best option we could go for.
At this stage, we have a couple of shoes each from Vivo barefoot, one for everyday wear, and one for hiking.
Back to the “Happy Bunion Story”
So, after all this time, Steph now enjoys walking pain-free.
The bunion, thanks to the exercises and to Steph’s determination in practising them daily and the new shoes that have a wider shoe box, is reduced, as the Big Toe is now diverging towards the medial side (away from the other toes).
Osteoarthritis is a condition that can’t be fixed, but when Steph occasionally feels pain we then do an MLD session which can help in reducing the inflammation symptoms and help in pain management.
Said so, the pain is an occasional thing, and not a daily issue.
Furthermore, Steph is not wearing the insole anymore.
As suggested by the Sole Mechanic staff, removing the insole is a process that can be done step by step.
So, since Feb ’22 when we bought the first pair of Vivobearfoot shoes, took her approximately 2 to 3 months to abandon the insole, and now is about 3 months that she is not using it anymore.
Hopefully, this post gives you some hope and insights into what’s happening with bunions.
If you are in pain and you need to reduce the inflammation response to the bunion, MLD is may what best works for you as a short-term solution.
Otherwise, book an appointment with Andy to find out what’s the best way you can take, to adjust and as much as possible the shape of your foot.