I immediately started my own research and let me tell you THERE IS MUCH YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOURSELF & YOU MAY NOT NEED SURGERY!!!!!!!
My problem may only be level I or II ?(not sure--he didn't say & I'm still waiting for the DP's x-rays and diagnosis to be sent my chiro)..... but by applying various therapies I am definitely feeling improvement. For example:
(1.) CHIROPRACTIC adjustment of the foot & ankle <<..I just read a scientific abstract online today of a study that proves the efficacy of CHIROPRACTIC MANIPULATION of all the bones in the foot, toes and ankle several times a week for 3-4 weeks.
(2.)A PROFESSIONAL DEEP-TISSUE MASSAGE made my foot feel like new for about 5 days. It increases circulation which encourages healing, and helps break down the extra calcifications that build up around the toe joints due to improper body mechanics when walking.
To be able to keep the massaging up on my own on a daily basis , the therapist suggested I purchase a (3.)THUMPER MINI PRO MASSAGER II (Your chiro's cost is about $250, so get a fair price from him---but it is so much less expensive than frequent professional massages &/or the cost of a possibly unneeded painful surgery! ... & you can use it forever on any/all your aches and pains--it's a great tool.)
Ask your podiatrist or chiropractor for (4.)CUSTOM ORTHOTICS-- they feel slightly weird at first but very quickly made my foot feel so much better). They work wonders at CORRECTING IMPROPER GAIT & IMPROPER BIOMECHANICS OF THE FOOT (both of which which contribute to the cause of the bunion).
(4.)Visit FOOTSTORE.COM and purchase a (5.)BUNION SPLINT which will help retrain the toe into it's proper position. Your drugstore will have (6.) GEL TOE SEPARATORS and (7.)BUNION PADS to increase comfort when in shoes. Work up to wearing the splint and separators as many hours a day & night as possible.
I also went to YOGAPRO.COM & purchased (8.) YOGATOES--- really effective at opening up the entire toe-bed, increasing flexibility and circulation. They really do make feet feel young and alive again.
ALSO, Go to EHOW.COM for lots of info including a few important (9.)FOOT EXERCISES specifically for bunions to do daily to help build up your arches, taking pressure off the ball and toe-bed, increasing flexibility, circulation etc.
THESE THERAPIES ALL GO HAND IN HAND. THE MORE CONSISTENT & SERIOUS I HAVE BECOME ABOUT DOING THIS MYSELF, THE MORE IMPROVEMENT I FEEL SUCH AS FLEXIBILITY, LACK OF PAIN ETC.
I'M SURE THAT FOR THOSE WHO ARE QUITE SEVERE, LEVEL III, SURGERY MAY BE NECCESSARY. BUT I AM SO GREATLY DISAPPOINTED IN THE PODIATRIC COMMUNITY FOR NOT ENCOURAGING PATIENTS TO FIRST TRY SELF REHAB. THEY/WE SHOULD KEEP SURGERY AS A LAST ALTERNATIVE. WHAT GOOD IS THE HYPPOCRATIC OATH IF DR'S ARE NOT DOING EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER TO HEAL US IN THE LEAST DRASTIC & LEAST PAINFUL WAY POSSIBLE.
It's possible I will in fact need surgery myself at some point, but until then I'm doing everything I can to give my body a CHANCE to heal itself.
:-) Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. without people like you in this world i am lost!!!! i believe surgery is the very last thing you should do and although i have no bunions you have inevitably provided me with hope. I have had terrible stiffness and aches in my hands and feet because of my job. I have basically worn my body down with the weight and repetiviness of my job. i have been massaging and "grinding" the calcification down and the relief i feel is unbelievable. you have confirmed for me that i am on the right track and the fact that you are an active person and a former dancer tells me you are living life to the fullest and that is exactly all we can strive for in our short lifetime. please continue to stand up to doctors, i have been bullied by doctors before and know i will continue to face these situations but for the first time in awhile i don't feel alone. i don't feel bad because i am saying "hey maybe i can do something whether the doctor is supporting my decision or not". There are great doctors out there and then there are those who only know one avenue and when you are forced down that narrow path its frightening and maddening. i will continue to stand up for my own health and i will, like you, share my experiences so that others will not feel alone. When surgery IS necessary and there are no alternatives thank goodness there are people willing to train in school to provide us with this kind of care. i am truly grateful to them as both my dad and my brother have had surgeries to save their lives. Thank you again for reminding me there are avenues not just one way to help us live well, we all have a responsiblity to take care of ourselves, there are no quick fixes. From the bottom of my heart i thank you as i feel stronger knowing that i am not alone in this.
Great advise! I personally didn't care for YogaToes as I thought they were painful so I used Bunion Booties instead - love them. I'm going to start incorporating massage into my routine also. Any excuse to get a massage! :)
just what i needed to read. i have been a runner since i was 13. At 55 i have a bunion that really hasn't bothered me. I barely got the shoe off at the doctor office, and he said, oh, we'll cut that. So, when i got home i started researching and found your post. I can't believe he immediately said "cut" when we had not tried anything at all to that point, nor had i complained of pain. I look forward to trying out these ideas. Just the positive thinking makes me feel better! Thanks.
Thank you so much for your advice! I am 50 and a jogger, and only recently has the bunion on my right foot started to bother me. After 5 or so miles it starts to ache, as well as after wearing high heel shoes or shoes with a narrow box. I really want to avoid surgery and was afraid that there wasn't an option. I will definitely try your tips, thank you.