Top tips on minimising the development and slowing the progression of bunions and foot pain

Let’s explore what might help prevent, or slow the progression of bunions and mechanically related foot pain.

  • Avoid poor footwear such as:-

    • Poorly supportive (eg pumps and flip flops)
    • Overly flat shoes (e.g pumps)
    • High heels (stilettos, wedges etc)
    • Narrow toe boxes (eg pointed shoes).
  • If you suffer from ‘flat feet’ (pes planus) you could consider obtaining some arch supports (orthotics)

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Chiropractors often ‘adjust’ feet with the aim of creating better movement through the foot. There are 26 bones in the foot which should all work in harmony. The idea is the better the foot functions over the orthotic the better the overall function achieved.

There is currently no way to eradicate a bunion which has already formed, without considering surgery. Bunions commonly occur in families, therefore if a family member suffers you are wise to take extra care to prevent and / or slow the progression in your feet. The longer you can avoid surgery the better as bunions are prone to reoccur. As with any surgery it should only be considered as a last resort.

Bunions frequently accompany problems such as hammer toes, corns, calluses, ingrown toe nails and can be associated with infections.  If left untreated, the bunion may become so painful that the patient begins walking differently to relieve the pressure.  As the problem progresses, pain may become so severe that walking becomes intolerable.  In some situations surgery is recommended to alleviate the pain and deformity associated with the bunion. It is also possible that the joint becomes so degenerated it requires fusion, therefore it is worth investigating your bunions progress before reaching this stage. X-ray’s are useful to establish the state of the joint beneath the surface.

When would bunion surgery be considered?

Surgery is painful, costly and often over time the bunion develops again, because surgery simply does not address the underlying cause of the faulty mechanics. I am not saying it is not the most suitable solution in some cases, however all options need considering first.

Surgery is suggested if a bunion is reducing the patient’s quality of life.  If the bunion is asymptomatic it is often recommended that it is not operated on until it becomes symptomatic due to the risks of surgery.  During the recovery phase patient activities are restricted, and weight-bearing should be kept to a minimum. Surgeons usually recommend only one foot is operated on at a time.

What can you do now to protect your feet?

What can you do now to protect your feet?

  • Take good care of them
  • Don’t allow then to get damp and wet for long
  • If you suffer from poor foot health such as corns, ingrowing toe nails etc consult a recommended Podiatrist or Chiropodist to learn how to care for your feet.
  • Avoid poor footwear (heels, wellington boots, flip flops and ballerina pumps
  • Invest in good quality footwear such as supportive trainers particularly when you are on your feet all day. Speaking to someone with a good knowledge of footwear can be beneficial as they can advice which brand suits your foot shape. In central London we recommend ‘The Running Works‘ who have a good variety of footwear from various brands allowing you to test and compare in store and on their treadmill.

If you are struggling with foot pain why not give us a call for an assessment to find out the best course of action.

0203 633 0565 or