>Health and Nutrition>Oh, bunions
So gross right? Well, I bought a toe straightener strap thing to wear at night to try to realign the toe. Get this, it's called a bunion regulator.
You wear it to bed.
I think it works, but, man, it's so painful. It digs into my skin. It's fine if you don't move.
I'm trying to avoid the surgery, and keep my toes from going all out Platypus like my mothers. Ewww!
Just wondering if I'm crazy to keep using this thing.
It was suggested to me and my fairly minor bunions to wear Injinji socks and also find shoes that had more forefoot width for the tootsies. I can't say my great toes have been "regulated", but it's resolved the burning pain I used to have.
If you wore The Regulator over a toe-sock, would that help with the digging-into-your-skin thing?
"I want you to pray as if everything depends on it, but I want you to prepare yourself as if everything depends on you."
-- Dick LeBeau
My fiancee has a bunion. She works out on a Gazelle (like a swing arm elliptical thing) and it was due to her toes being pushed into her shoes.
For a while she was very pleased with her bunion. "Look", she said, "I have dancer's feet!".
Then it started hurting. Now when she works out on the Gazelle she wraps the big toe up tight so it can't move inward. She also got some VFFs for walking around in and she says they help a lot, particularly with her index toes that were curling under.
The VFFs are black with pink between the toes and look kind of dorky.
I think the bunion regulator is a good idea. Something caused the bunion though and you should try to resolve that issue.
Bill Wagnon / stl
About a year ago, I developed a bunion that started to ache at night. I quit wearing heels and pointy-toed shoes, and started choosing running shoes with wide toe boxes (Nike Frees, Merrel Pace Gloves). I went up half a size in the Frees and lace them so that they do not slip up and down on my heel.
The aching stopped within days of making the changes, and now my foot doesn't even look that bunion-y. However, I'm reminded that the bunion still exists when I try on a pair of shoes that are normal or narrow width. Sad
"In the South, the cotillion of Machiavelli is played as a soft-shoe, in three-quarter time." - Pat Conroy
All bunions are not preventable. I've never worn 'skinny' shoes but had a severe bunion on one foot and a less severe one on the other. I had the surgery 1 1/2 years ago and tried for several years before that to deal with it. I used the 'regulator' that you refer to at night for quite awhile. It may help relieve some of the discomfort but it will not realign the big toe bones. It is intended to simply stretch the muscles and tendons connected to the big toe. I ran with toe spacers taped in place. In hindsight, my opinion of the straightener is it's fairly useless. It was recommended by an NP at a routine physical. Without knowing too much about bunions I went for it.
FWIW, the surgery worked out well. I have minimal discomfort in the big toe while or after running. My big toe did push against the second toe to the point the second toe is permanently bowed like a talon. I have constant 'purple toe nail' because of the angle the toe nail is in relative to toe push off. The doc said the bowing could also could be repaired if it bothered me but, at this point, I'm satisfied with the way I can run again and the way it feels.
The regulator will not straighten your bone. A bunion is a build up of bone on the joint. In addition, the angle of your metatarsal going up the bunion joint has angled outward which is why the bone starts to protrude. I have had pain in bunion are for 25 years related to a childhood lawnmower accident. My podiatrist won't do an osteotomy (a wedge out of metatarsal to straighten metatarsal). They also shave off the boney protrusion. He would shave off the protrusion but not do an osteotomy because for 40 years my foot as adapted to my accident. You mess with one metatarsal and you have to mess with them all.
Anyway, over the last several years my bunion has become very tolerable by getting orthotics. Incredible improvement. AND wearing loose fitting dress shoes with soft leather and running shoes with wide toe boxes and soft mesh in bunion area. This all helps incredibly. Your shoes are the key. So so important. Surgery should be the last resort but can definitely correct the issue.
Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!
If they're bothering you enough to ask about it on here, just go talk to a doctor or a podiatrist and get a professional opinion. Ours aren't worth the paper they're written on - not that I'm going to let this stop me from sharing mine anyway.
My Bunion Story by seeEricaRun
I've had bunions pretty much my whole life.
I was told both by my old orthopedist and by my current podiatrist that the conservative treatments only help to relieve discomfort, but will not improve the bunion. The ortho also said as long as it wasn't bothering me much, the only reason for the surgery was aesthetics (I don't care much) and to return if I started feeling numbness or tingling. As a result, I never bothered trying any of the over the counter tools, so I have nothing personal to share one way or the other. Both doctors also asserted that bunions were not preventable, were the result of my crappy genetics, and had nothing to do with the shoes I wore (which were nearly always sneakers anyway) or anything else that I did. They also both told me that surgery was the only real treatment.
So... I ignored mine for years until my skin started going numb and tingly, the bouts of pain became too much and it started getting in the way of running longer distances. I'm scheduled for a bunionectomy in May on the left foot. I'm still ignoring the right since it doesn't hurt.
Finally, I've talked to many people who have had the surgery, and everyone is a big fan.
Go get your feet measured and fitted for running shoes. I can't tell you how many people (Clive included) that I see wearing shoes that are too small for them. That can totally add to your bunions.
Ok, thanks everyone for all the feedback.
I have always been a wide toe box girl, and never wear heels or pointy shoes. If I do where heels, they are a platform wedge, and not a real heel.
I just know that my mother's feet got progressivly worse over time. I use Yoga toes every night, and have to say, they really help strech my toes and feet. I have noticed my feet cramps and leg cramps have almost gone away, and it's from using those. I'd bet my life on it.
As far as pain from my bunion, I really don't have any. That is, unless I'm wearing a heel. I literally can't walk in heels at all. My right bunion hurts so bad, I'm immobilized.
I am really bummed out that the regulator will not prevent the toes from getting worse! I would love for it to work so I could prevent any addional problems. If they never get any worse than right now, I'm ok with that. I just know they're going to get worse. They will turn into my mothers feet, which are horrible, and it scares the crap out of me. I mentioned she's a platypus, and the big toe has over taken the toe next to it, which has caused, get this, hammer toes. It's not a pretty sight.
She has never had the surgery, but she wore high heels for work ALL the time.
I guess a doctor's visit is in order. I am worried about the future, and would be devestated if I couldn't run.
The bunion on my left foot got painful enough that I couldn't run anymore. I started racewalking because I could do that with relatively little bunion pain. I had the bunion operated on in '03. It has been fine since then, but I've stuck with racewalking because I like it and I can be competitive (at least on a local level), and because I don't want to risk bringing the bunion back. I believe mine is caused by genetics more than because of poor shoe choices in my younger days.
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