Bunions, medically known as hallux valgus, can be more than just a cosmetic concern. They often bring pain and discomfort, affecting mobility and quality of life. In this blog post, we will explore what bunions are, their common causes, and how physiotherapy can play a crucial role in managing and alleviating the associated symptoms.
What are bunions:
A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe, causing it to point inwards towards the other toes. This malalignment can result in friction, inflammation, and pain, making simple activities, like walking, or wearing shoes uncomfortable.
What causes bunions:
Bunions can develop due to a variety of different factors, including genetics, wearing ill-fitting shoes, or underlying foot conditions (including arthritis). Understanding the root cause is essential for effective management and prevention.
How can physiotherapy help?
- Foot exercises: physiotherapists often prescribe specific exercises to strengthen the muscles around the affected area as well as the calves and shins. These exercises aim to improve joint function and flexibility and, reduce discomfort.
- Joint mobilization techniques: Hands-on physiotherapy techniques to mobilize and re-align the affected joint can help in improving biomechanics and reducing pain associated with bunions.
- Gait analysis and orthotics: Analyzing the way you walk (gait analysis) helps physiotherapists identify any issues possibly contributing to the development of bunions. Custom orthotics can then be recommended to provide better support and foot alignment.
- Educational Guidance: physiotherapists can offer valuable insight into lifestyle modifications and footwear choices that can prevent further aggravation of bunions. Simple changes in daily habits can make a significant difference in managing the condition.
Bunions can be a persistent challenge, but with the right physiotherapy approach for individual needs, it is possible to find relief and improve overall foot health. If you are dealing with bunions, book in for an appointment with one of our physiotherapists to create a personalized plan that addresses your specific needs.