I've got bunions. How about you?
Mine are pretty small, but I'd still love to get rid of them. Since it's summertime and I'm either barefoot or in sandals 100% of the time, I have lots of opportunities to notice my feet. And if you take a look around in the warmer months, you'll notice that bunions are super common, especially in women. Over half of all American women have bunions!
How do bunions form?
Bunions form at the base of the big toe (at the metatarsal phalangeal). The clinical term for a bunion is Hallux Abducto Valgus, which is a fancy way of saying that the big toe moves toward the pinky toe instead of tracking straight ahead.
A bunion forms over time in response to our movement habits: specifically, how we're loading the big toe joint when we walk, stand, and move around. Wearing shoes that don't allow toes to spread can also play a big role in bunion formation. The vast majority of shoes on the market (even athletic shoes) are very narrow in the toe box!
The lovely news is that you CAN minimize and even completely eliminate bunions over time (without surgery!) by working on your alignment, making changes to your gait pattern, rethinking your shoe choices, and doing some simple stretches and self-massage to mobilize and "wake up" your feet.
Self-massage can help restore foot mobility
If you're striving for bunion-free feet, self-massage is can be a great thing to add to your foot health toolbox. In this short video I share two self-care techniques I use to help restore foot mobility and get rid of bunions. The first technique uses Yoga Tune Up massage balls, but if you don't have a set, you can use a tennis ball.
Before you start massaging away, check and see how well your big toe can abduct (move away from your second toe). Does it move at all? Try the same movement again after doing these two self-massage techniques and see if you notice a difference.
Let me know how these self-care techniques work for you! I'll be writing more on bunions and foot health in upcoming posts!