A bunion (hallux valgus) is a large bump on the side of the foot that develops at the base of the big toe (refer to image; take a look at your big toes, and then follow the line on the inside part of the foot - it's the joint just below the big toe).
Unfortunately it is common for a bunion to become inflamed and swollen, causing foot pain.
Although anyone can develop a bunion, this painful bunion condition occurs most of the time in
time, the bunion joint may become
and this causes problems with shoe fit, pain, and even difficulty walking.
What our senior physiotherapists do to help patients with (painful) bunions is to
A bunion is a bump on the side of the foot that develops at the base of the big toe when the toe deviates (points/moves) inward.
Also, there are four classifications of the severity of a bunion: mild, moderate, large, or severe, depending on the size of the measured angle at the toe. An angle of 20° or greater is considered abnormal.
There are several factors that may cause bunions, including:
Tight footwear has often been blamed for bunions, but recent studies and research are saying that footwear may not be a large (if any) factor in their development. That being said, inappropriate and tight footwear can irritate a bunion by rubbing on the tissue at the joint, and this leads to more swelling, inflammation and pain.
How a bunion feels really depends and varies with each individual.
There is no relationship between the severity of a bunion and the symptoms experienced (this means some really bad bunions can be not painful, and some mild bunions can be really painful). Not all bunions cause symptoms; however, people with bunions report mild to severe symptoms, including:
If you see our senior physiotherapists first, they will ask you about
They will observe your walking pattern, particularly how you bear weight on the affected foot with the bunion, and willexamine the foot and the big toe to observe any swelling, deformity, or tenderness.
They will test the strength of your foot and big toe, and measure your foot's flexibility and range of motion, and will check your footwear for proper fit, and for wear patterns.
If your bunion is classified as severe, they may recommend a consultation with an orthopedic foot surgeon (we can refer you to our medical network as well).
Our senior physiotherapists will treat your bunion symptoms with
The key focal goals of our senior physiotherapists treatment is to
Physiotherapy bunion treatments may include:
Manual Therapy. We may use manual (hands-on) therapy to help improve the position of the big toe . We will gently move your big toe and ankle to reduce joint tightness and any stiffness of the surrounding tissues, and increase the big toe's bending range of motion.
Exercise. You will be taught range-of-motion, stretching, and strengthening exercises to improve the alignment of the big toe when standing, and improve your walking pattern. We will design an individualized exercise program based on your specific needs.
Balance Training. To help reduce the risk of falling, we will teach you standing and walking exercises to improve your balance during movement.
Symptom Management. You will learn how to use intermittent
We may also apply specialized taping of the big toe to improve the big toe's alignment, and reduce pain.We will recommend the best footwear for your condition.
Orthotics and Devices. We may recommend the use of splints, foot orthotics, or assistive devices, depending on your condition, and will train you in their use. They may include:
If your bunion pain level and deformity worsens to a point where you cannot find comfortable footwear, or walking becomes difficult, you may choose to consider bunion surgery to correct the position of the big toe.
Our senior physiotherapists can help after your bunion surgery to
Physiotherapy is different and varies with each patient, because it's based on their condition and the type of surgical procedure performed. After most surgeries, you will wear a special postoperative shoe to protect your foot, and avoid putting pressure on the surgical area for about 4 weeks.
A hospital physiotherapist will teach you
Post bunion surgery physiotherapy with our senior physiotherapists usually will begin 3 to 4 weeks after surgery, and continue for 4 to 8 weeks. Treatments will include the elements listed above.
The first session will focus on pain relief and swelling management with the use of mild ankle range-of-motion exercises, cold therapy, and gentle retrograde massage. You will begin gait training with specific instructions from us, and perform exercises in the clinic and at home.
Postoperative physiotherapy will emphasize walking and learning how to push off of your big toe properly to restore normal walking ability. It will also include exercise to strengthen the big toe and ankle, and movement to restore better bending of the big toe.
Do note that it is important to regain strength and bending in the big toe to restore your full walking ability. You will be encouraged to perform a home-exercise program between physiotherapy treatment sessions as well as after the visits are completed, to help you return to your job, leisure, or sport activities.