Bunions / Hammer Toes
Is your big toe pointing towards the small toes? Do you have a bony growth on the side of the big toe? Or your smaller toes are already curling up as a result of deviation of the big toe? You’re not alone!
What is it?
Hallux Valgus is the condition when the big toe deviates laterally (pointing towards the smaller toes). When this happens, a bunion or bony growth may develop on the side or over the top of the big toe joint. If treatment gets delayed, the angle of deviation may increase over time, and the bunion may get larger and could end up in secondary issues including osteoarthritis. Likewise, other smaller toes of the foot may also deform causing hammertoes or clawed toes. Bunions and hammertoes are progressive and do not go away by themselves.
Not all bunions are symptomatic but can certainly cause disabling pain in a lot of people and are commonly associated with irritation in footwear and are often a source of embarrassment due to the changed appearance of the sufferer’s feet.
What causes it?
Bunions are commonly thought to be caused by wearing tight, pointy or narrow shoes, inherited genetic traits, and stress on the foot from participating in certain sports or a medical condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
In fact, the above factors only play a small part in causing the condition. The primary aggravating factor of a bunion is often related to the underlying biomechanical problems in the feet and subsequent compensations which causes the body to form a bunion. Misalignment of the ankle, restricted joints in the foot, inactive foot muscles, flatfeet and foot pronation can all contribute to the development of a bunion.
Bunion: Is surgery the only treatment option?
Our corrective treatment Approach
Most people think that surgery is the only remedy when it comes to bunions. Get this; our hands-on treatment approach aims at correcting the dysfunction and misalignment of the foot joints and our tailored solution is second to none. There are usually many underlying problems or compensations happening when a bunion is present. We focus on not only improving the alignment of the big toe but also addressing the underlying problems that cause the bunion.
This is combined with Foot Mobilisation Techniques, Trigenics® Neuro-muscular Retraining, and corrective exercises to address weak and tight muscles and soft tissue that has been compensating to hold the big toe in that misaligned position.
Conservative management is recommended as early as possible, even if the sufferer feels no pain. Studies tell us that most of the time, symptoms only occur after the condition has progressed into its advanced stages. As a result, by the time a bunion starts hurting, the significant irreversible damage has occurred. The sooner treatment is started, the sooner the underlying cause can be addressed.
What can I expect from treatment?
When it comes to bunion or hallux valgus, the early we get to it, the high chance of correcting the misalignment and reducing the bony growth. In many cases, especially when the treatment has been delayed, it’s unlikely that deformity can be fully corrected, but we can still improve the function of the foot, maintain mobility of the bunion joint, and prevent the bunion from getting worse. We also manage the symptoms and address the underlying cause of the bunions which can lead to other pain and injuries.
After bunion fusion surgery, is treatment still viable?
Yes, treatment would still be beneficial in a number of ways. The big toe joint is one of the most important foot joints that we rely on every day to walk. Restriction of the joint can lead to foot, ankle, knee, hip and even lower back issues. Once it is fused, what happens to our walking pattern? It changes as our body compensates. These compensations can lead to tissue stress and changes further up in the foot and leg and need to be addressed, otherwise, other pain and injury can happen.
As fusion is permanent, so are the compensations. The management will likely be long-term/lifelong to maintain health and function of the lower limb.
What are you waiting for? Kindly get in touch with us to experience a new and improved bunion therapy.
Treatment that we may incorporate for bunions or hammer toes:
- Foot Mobilisation Techniques
- Trigenics® Functional Muscle Neurology
- Western Medical Acupuncture
- Low Level Laser Therapy
- Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilisation
- Active Release Techniques
- Custom Foot Orthoses
- Kinesiology Sports Taping
- Corrective / Rehabilitation Exercise