A bunion is a painful bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. It is caused by the misalignment of the big toe, which causes the joint to become enlarged and painful.
Causes can be:
-Genetics: Some people are more prone to developing bunions due to inherited foot structure or genetics.
-Wearing tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes can put pressure on the toes and increase the risk of developing a bunion
Symptoms of a bunion include redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area, difficulty walking, and difficulty fitting into shoes. Treatment for a bunion may include wearing proper footwear, using bunion pads or splints, taking pain medication, and in severe cases, surgery.
Barefoot shoes, also known as minimalist shoes, are designed to mimic the natural movement of the foot while walking or running. They have a very thin sole, allowing the foot to feel the ground and allowing the toes to spread out naturally.
There are several benefits to wearing barefoot shoes for those with bunions:
Improved foot alignment: By allowing the toes to spread out naturally, barefoot shoes can help improve foot alignment and reduce the pressure on the big toe joint, which can help alleviate bunion pain.
Improved balance: Barefoot shoes can also improve balance and stability, as they allow the feet to feel the ground and adjust to uneven surfaces.
Increased foot strength: Wearing barefoot shoes can help strengthen the muscles in the feet, which can help improve overall foot health and reduce the risk of developing bunions in the future.
Reduced impact on joints: The thin sole of barefoot shoes allows for a more natural gait, reducing the impact on the joints and reducing the risk of bunion pain.
However, it is important to note that barefoot shoes may not be suitable for everyone, and it is recommended to speak with a healthcare professional before starting a barefoot shoe regimen.
Here are some important exercises for Bunions:
There are several exercises that can help correct and prevent bunions. These exercises should be performed daily, or every other day if that is not possible. It is important to do these exercises with both feet, even if you only have a bunion on one foot, to avoid creating further imbalances that could affect your gait and alignment. These exercises can help strengthen your toes, foot and calf muscles, and may even prevent the need for surgery.
1. Big toe distract and mobilize: find a comfortable seat and place your foot on your knee or on the ground in front of you. Using your hands, gently pull out the big toe forward and away from the foot, creating a space between the big toe and the foot. While maintaining this traction slowly rotate your big toe in a circular motion for 10 repetitions. Once you have completed the rotations in one direction, reverse the direction and repeat for another 10 repetitions. This exercise is a good place to start if you have severe foot pain or difficulty walking, as it is simple and can be done while seated. The purpose of this exercise is to improve flexibility and create space in the joint.
2. Toe fan out: start by placing your foot flat on the ground. Using only the muscles in your foot, spread your toes as far apart from each other as you can comfortably do. Keep your heel on the floor if possible. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Do this 5 times per foot.
3. Toe yoga: To do this exercise, sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Then, lift your big toe upwards as high as you can without straining, keeping the foot flat on the floor. This exercise helps to strengthen the muscles in your big toe and improve flexibility. It is important to avoid straining when performing this exercise, as it is meant to be done with a comfortable range of motion.
Now, while holding your foot in this position, curl your toes and point your big toe at an angle towards the floor.
Hold each position for 5-10 sec and perform 5 repetitions with each foot.