By Jake Cahoon
Chiropodist/ Foot Specialist
Elio’s Foot Comfort Centre
A bunion, also known as hallux abducto valgus, is a common foot deformity where the big toe joint (first metatarsal phalangeal joint) protrudes outward, and the big toe points toward the 2nd toe. Bunions are progressive. They are highly associated with flat feet and pointed footwear, so these two items need attention:
Footwear should not be pitched or pointed. High heels should be avoided. Instead, a well fitted shoe with a squared or rounded toe box is best. Some shoes, like the Fidelio Hallux, even have padded or flexible inserts in the area of the bunion to cushion it and avoid pressure related pain.
Overpronation (flat feet) puts more pressure on the big toe joint. It is a good idea to try to reduce the progression of the bunion by treating the underlying biomechanics. This is where a certified pedorthist or chiropodist can really help. To understand your specific needs, an assessment would be performed. Based on individual biomechanics, custom orthotics specific for your feet, would be designed to reduce stress to the big toe joint.
Sometimes bunions cause problems like corns and calluses. These problems can be addressed with treatment from a chiropodist, and with products such as toe spacers and pads.
Stretching the big toe outward, either manually, or with the use of a splint worn at night, can help reduce the progression of the bunion.