How to prevent bunions

Bunions are painful deformities that occur when the big toe points towards the other toes, causing the joint at the base of the big toe to become enlarged. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, ill-fitting shoes, and certain medical conditions. Here are some tips to help prevent bunions.

  1. Wear properly fitting shoes: Wearing shoes that are too tight or too narrow can put extra pressure on the toes and lead to bunions. It’s important to wear shoes that fit properly and give your toes enough room to move and flex. Avoid high heels and choose shoes with a wide toe box and low heel.
Photo of high heel shoes.
  1. Strengthen your toes: Strengthening your toes regularly can help to improve foot stability and reduce the risk of bunions. Simple exercises such as picking up marbles with your toes can be effective.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight can increase the risk of developing bunions. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help to reduce the risk of bunions and other foot problems.
  3. Use orthotics: If you have flat feet or other conditions that put extra pressure on your feet, using orthotics (custom insoles) can help to distribute weight evenly and reduce the risk of bunions. Ideally, this is a temporary measure as you seek to make improvements to the intrinsic stability and mobility of your foot through corrective exercises.
  4. Take breaks from high heels: If you frequently wear high heels, it’s important to take breaks and give your feet a chance to rest. High heels can put extra pressure on the toes and increase the risk of bunions.
  5. Maintain proper mobility of the big toe. Without proper mobility of the big toe, the foot often rolls to the inside putting stress on the first metatarsophalangeal joint. These stretches can help:  https://bdme.ch/5UgX

At The Body Mechanic, we also address soft-tissue restrictions and compensation patterns that can lead to or perpetuate bunions. Combined with corrective exercises, following these tips and paying attention to the fit and style of your shoes can help prevent bunions and keep your feet healthy. If this is something you’d like help with, make an appointment.

References:
“Bunions” (2019). Mayo Clinic.”How to prevent bunions” (2018).
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.”Bunions” (2017).
American Podiatric Medical Association.”Orthotics for bunions” (2019).
Podiatry Today.”The high heel hangover: How to prevent foot pain” (2017). Harvard Health Publishing.

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