Mothers begin promoting proper posture at a very early age. “Stand up straight!” would often accompany a quick poke in the back. Now in my 30′s I wish someone would do that to me as I type at my desk all day long. I used to think I had good posture but as I type this (and likely as soon as you read the word “posture”) I sit up straight and realize that there is much to be desired in the posture department.
So what does posture have to do with my bunions you ask? Well, the answer depends on who you talk to….
Pete Egoscue has been successfully helping people relieve all sorts of pain since the early 70′s and according to one friend of his (and notable golfer), Jack Nicklaus, “Pete Egoscue totally changed [his] life.” Since establishing 25+ clinics, including a few in Japan and Mexico, Pete Egoscue has been teaching a therapy method that relieves chronic pain for the young, the old, the athlete, the non-athlete, the famous, and the infamous. This unique method is based on the body’s functional design – or posture. Therefore, to put it simply, Pete Egoscue is a “Posture Therapist.”
By achieving muscular balance and re-incorporating muscles that might have for the most part, gone dormant due to non-use over the course of many years, Egoscue believes that by doing a few simple exercises (some of which require no moving at all surprisingly) you may slowly begin to awaken these unused or underutilized muscle groups, and your body will start to re-learn the proper way of moving. Many people have sought out the help of Pete Egoscue and his crew for a variety of ailments including but not limited to; headaches, carpal-tunnel syndrome, sciatica, knee and ankle pain, and last but certainly not least….even bunions!
Having read his book myself “Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain” I can certainly see the value right away. He teaches you how to slowly re-engage muscles such as your hip flexors (have you even heard of those before?) and you learn that the hips can actually be a strong contributing factor to bunion development. By “skating” on the inner edges of your feet you are actually creating pressure unnecessarily. The body protects that area by creating more bone there.
To add to his theory, WebMD states, “Bunions may be caused by foot mechanics that result in too much pressure on the big toe joint. An abnormal foot motion called excessive pronation…. may contribute to the pressure. Over time, the constant pressure forces the big toe out of alignment, gradually bending it toward the other toes.”
According to Carol Gamboa’s article called “The Truth About Bunions” who is also AET certified by the Egoscue University, it’s not uncommon to find that if someone has a bunion on only their right foot, that they actually stand with up to 65% of their body weight shifted right of their natural center. After beginning a daily routine under her guidance, Carol’s clients begin to balance weight evenly between the left and right side and their bunion stopped hurting! Without fixing the root cause of the issue, even surgery could prove to be ineffective to rid bunion pain permanently.
Now of course, if you have bunions on both feet a full and proper analysis of your bio-mechanics and joint position are in order. Bones follow the muscles lead so the good news is, muscles can be trained to do new things or do old things even better. The bad news is, if the muscles are not functioning properly, joints can be pulled out of position and result in any one of the following conditions; muscle strain, arthritis, tendonitis, joint degradation, and bunions.