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Posts Tagged ‘Bursitis’

Is Bunion Taping Just for Athletes?

07 May

Something we’ve never tried but have been seeing more of lately are articles on bunion taping.  We usually see these How-To’s pinned to an athletic website such as Livestrong.com or listed on sports injury clinic websites.  After all, who else would spend the time to learn the technique and tightly wrap your foot?  Most of us don’t have time to do that before we head off to work in our Jimmy Choo 3-inch heels (ok, most of us ladies don’t actually own Choos, but we’d like to!).  After doing our own research on the topic here’s what we learned, broken down into usable chunks of information.  (Of course, anyone attempting this should consult with your doctor, especially if you have moderate to severe bunions.)

WHY?

Taping bunions can reduce the bunion pain and stress brought on during the day’s stress including most shoes and standing/walking.  It’s often used to provide support, stability, or rehabilitation to athletes suffering from bunion pain including runners, dancers, bikers, and skiers.  It can also provide protection against the friction often caused from non-bunion-friendly footwear, and even possibly padding in those shoes that just don’t give our nubs the space or protection they need (i.e. ski boots, spin shoes, and soccer cleats).  There are a few different strategies you could try out there –  let us know which one works best!  (You can even Google “Bunion Taping Techniques” and watch the YouTube videos for demonstrations and additional details.)

PROS

  • When you tape your bunions, you are protecting them from the unavoidable scuffing and rubbing from your shoes which in time can easily lead to blisters, redness, tenderness, and often inflamed bunions.  Should bursitis set in around the bunion, it takes even longer to heal and requires a more consistent treatment.  Taping is a great option to manage that swelling and irritation.
  • Taping bunions can also provide the desired padding inside more rigid footwear, often founds in sports such as dancing, skiing, soccer, and spinning/biking.  There’s nothing worse than bone on plastic which is what you get when you put those shoes on and head out to enjoy your active lifestyle without any additional level of protection, or in the case of soccer; expose your poor nubs to the repeated pounding of a ball.

CONS

  • Most of us don’t have the time in the morning as we are getting ready for work to find the tape, let alone go through the process of taping our feet.  Not to mention, testing and trying out the various techniques to find the one for our foot.
  • Your feet swell during the day, it’s just a fact.   Whether you are a professional athlete or sell insurance from a desk all day, your feet will swell.   This can be quite the nuisance if the taping ends up being quite tight, or the space in your shoes just doesn’t ALLOW for the swelling AND tape.  Your bunions might be pain-free but… low and behold, it’s really because half your foot has lost its circulation – doh!

Bunion Taping to Protect and Pad

Bottom Line

Taping is great and it definitely serves a purpose for those that wear extremely rigid footwear, anticipate taking a hit on the bunion (think soccer!), or are healing from the dreaded bunion surgery.  But for the majority of us, something as simple as Bunion Bootie can meet the need of most bunion sufferers; it protects from friction, may improve gait and balance issues by bringing the big toe straight again, and is quick and easy to put on each morning.   The padding isn’t much (which is what allows it to fit so easily in any shoe) so if you’re heading to the soccer field, take the tape! :)

 

My child has a BUNION? Juvenile and Adolescent Hallux Valgus

13 Dec

Yes, even teens get bunions.  Juvenile hallux valgus is the proper term for a bunion that develops during childhood.  According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons surgery is not recommended unless your child is in extreme pain.  If your juvenile or adolescent bunion sufferer opts for bunion surgery, particularly while they are still growing, chances are good, that the bunion will return after surgery.

children can develop bunions too

Even children can develop bunions

Often, teens with bunions have flat feet or excessive pronation which can result in splaying of the metatarsals (toes) and eventually result in bunions.  That’s not to say that any child with flat feet will develop bunions, in fact, that is not true at all.  Studies have shown that it’s the inherited genetic make-up that will determine if your child is predisposed to developing bunions.  The fact that they have flat feet just means they have a second contributing factor and typically has a way of bringing the bunions to the forefront earlier than probably expected.

The most common demographic in the teen community are girls between the ages of 10 and 15.  Even at such a young age more than half of young bunion sufferers are female.  Often, if there is pain it is due to the onset of Bursitis, where the small sac between the tendon and bone becomes inflamed.  This will start to force the big toe to angle towards the second toe.  Naturally, the most conclusive way to determine if it is a bunion is by taking an x-ray of the bunion itself.  Unfortunately there is not much a doctor can do to treat the bunion, especially at such a young age.  Any doctor that suggests surgery on your young bunion sufferer should be reevaluated and a second opinion should be sought.

There are tips that parents can take in order to prevent the progression of bunions, most of which can be exercised when shoe shopping;

  • Have your child’s foot measured regularly, ideally each time you purchase new shoes
  • Make sure you measure both feet because just as with adults the shoe size may differ by foot
  • If your child’s feet are different sizes, go with the larger size.
  • During the fitting, make sure your child is standing and that at minimum, 3/8” space remains between the toe and the shoe
  • Make sure the area around the ball of the foot is not too tight, go with a wider shoe if needed
  • Shop with the thickest socks that might be worn with the shoes

 

If needed, shoe stretchers may be bought to help give their bunions the space they need.  According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, parents can also try taping the foot in order to maintain a normal position and reduce stress and pain.  Toe spacers, bunion splints, anti-pronation running shoes are suggested but what might work the best and most comfortably are Bunion Booties.  They accomplish the same thing as bunion splints and toe spacers but Bunion Booties are made up entirely of a soft flexible material that can be easily and comfortably worn in any shoe.   Additional conservative treatments may include icing, NSAID medication, and wearing wide toe shoes.

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