Does “yoga” for your toes cure bunions?
Advertisements for devices claim they eliminate or
prevent bunions by spreading your toes with yoga-like
stretches, but do they really work? While a non-surgical
solution is ideal, get the facts about these devices and
bunions before you buy a set.
"One fact about bunions many don't know is that
bunions are caused by physical abnormalities in the foot,
which are usually inherited," explains Barry Klein, DPM,
FACFAS, Virtua podiatrist. "Bunions form when certain
tendons, ligaments and supportive structures where the
big toe and foot meet no longer function correctly." When
this happens, the bone shifts and causes the bump.
While you may be genetically prone to bunions, certain
shoes can help bunions form. High-heeled and pointedtoed
shoes apply an abnormal amount of pressure to the big toe irritating the bone and causing the bunion. Because women wear these types of shoes, they are
seven times more likely than men to get bunions.
If left untreated, bunions can become large and
painful. A podiatrist can prescribe orthotics, inserts
for your shoes, which control the abnormalities in
your foot that cause the bunion. "Orthotics enable
your foot muscles, tendons and bones to function at
their highest potential," says Dr. Klein.
While orthotics are physician prescribed, there
are also some things you can do at home to relieve
Wear shoes with enough room that enables you to
wiggle your toes. Also, choose shoes that provide
ample arch support. Wearing proper-fitting shoes
prevents the shoe from rubbing and irritating your
bunion, which makes it bigger.
Stretch and build muscle
Stretch your toes with toe spacers. Also, build your
foot muscle by wrapping a rubber band around your
big toe, pull it away from the other toes, hold for two
to three seconds, and repeat. If the exercise hurts,
Dr. Klein concludes: "Toe spacers, orthotics,
proper-fitting shoes, and exercise can relieve some
bunion discomfort, but there is no scientific evidence
any of these cure bunions. The only way to get rid
of a bunion is to surgically remove it."
If you have bunions, consult a podiatrist like
Dr. Klein to learn what treatment is right for you.