My clients with bunions will often tell me on their initial appointment that they were told “their bunions can’t be improved without surgery”. Typically after their first few chiropractic treatments they then say “How come nobody told me that chiropractic can help with bunions before?”
I have now heard this so many times that I have decided to write a blog article about it. My first encounter with bunions and chiropractic was at student clinic. I was fortunate to have a woman in her 70’s referred to me by a student in the graduating class.
This client was told that she needed to have her big toe fused on both feet and have the bone scraped so she could walk and reduce her pain. With regular chiropractic care and some education on her footwear, her pain was reduced so that she didn’t need medication and she could still enjoy her walking trips around England and Europe.
I have since seen a bunch of other clients with bunions, most of whom don’t even think to mention that they had them. The bunions typically present red, warm, and squishy/puffy but firm. This is a great time to intervene in their progression as a lot can be gained from simply halting the growth.
As with most things, the causes of bunions can vary, but the most common factors that I see are footwear, foot biomechanics, and over pronation of the feet.
Typical intervention is relatively straight forward:
-Educate about footwear
-Educate about foot biomechanics
-Assess the progression of the bunion
-Assess the foot and ankle
-Make the necessary adjustments to the foot and ankle
-Make the necessary adjustments to the big toe (Hallux)
-Advise the appropriate toe spacer (I recommend the hourglass shaped ones, they come in three sizes)
-Potentially tape the toe/foot area
-Potentially recommend orthotics (I haven’t had to do this yet for working with bunions,
however it definitely could be appropriate)
-My bunion clients also get a Network Spinal Analysis treatment with the work on their foot to integrate the work on their foot with their system as a whole.
The results I typically see are decreased redness, temperature, size, pain, and toe deviation with increased foot comfort.
Results and expectations vary with how advanced the bunions are. The more bony growth there is the more care is expected, the earlier the intervention the quicker the results and typically the more dramatic they are as well. Many clients find after a few to several treatments there foot is much improved, especially if the footwear is changed.
If you know someone who has tried everything else but not chiropractic for their bunion, check out my contact page if they are in the Vancouver area. If they are not in the area, contact your local chiropractor that enjoys peripheral/extremity adjusting.