Open Your Mind

Common Conditions

Bunions

25/09/2020

Bunions often referred to as Hallux Valgus are bony bumps that develop on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint. The big toe is made up of two joints which is the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) where the first long bone of the foot (metatarsal) meets the first bone of the toe (phalanx). Pressure on the big toe joint causes the big toe to lean toward the second toe. Over time, the normal structure of the bone changes resulting in the bunion bump that develops at the MTP joint.⁣

Some common signs and symptoms of a bunion include bulging bump on the outside of the base of the big toe⁣, swelling, redness or soreness around the big toe joint⁣, corns or calluses that often develop where the first and second toes rub against each other⁣, ongoing pain or pain that comes and goes⁣ and limited movement of the big toe⁣.

⁣Anyone can get a bunion but they are more common in women as women commonly wear tight and narrow shoes that squeeze the toes together which makes it more likely for a bunion to develop and cause painful symptoms. It can also be caused by inherited foot type and having an inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or neuromuscular condition such as polio.

Physical therapy can help with treating bunions. Treatment of bunions includes manual therapy, exercises and patient education. The main purpose of treatment is to improve the function of the ankle, foot and toes, reduce pain and allow movement again. Manual therapy to improve strength and motion will be incorporated to gently move muscles and joints. To restore range of motion, stretches for the ankle, foot and toes will be taught. Personalized exercises will also be prescribed by your therapist to strengthen the muscles of the big toe and ankle as muscle imbalances or weaknesses in other parts of the body also can contribute to bunions and pain. If in doubt, seek professional advice.