Does walking barefoot help a bunion? 

Does walking barefoot help a bunion? 

does walking barefoot help a bunion

Bunions are an extremely common condition, affecting about 10% of the population and they are more prevalent in women than men. By nature, bunions are painful and uncomfortable, and because they cause a deformity to the shape of the foot, can make it difficult to walk or find shoes that fit well. In fact, part of the reason bunions can be so painful is due to the way they rub inside shoes, which can lead the sufferer to feel their footwear is doing more harm than good. 

For this reason, many people wonder if walking barefoot is actually beneficial for a bunion? 

There is some evidence that wearing open toe shoes instead of closed-toe ones could help with bunions because there’s less rubbing on the feet when you walk, and less friction without socks or tights on your feet. Unfortunately, even finding open toe shoes that don’t have some level of contact with a bunion can still be difficult. Open toe shoes, such as sandals or thongs also generally have less arch support, which can impact the alignment of the foot during activity and may actually worsen a bunion (or lead to one developing). 

Is walking barefoot good for my bunion? 

The answer is yes and no.  

In some cases, barefoot walking can be helpful for bunion management. For example, if your bunion is really painful or tender you should always try to wear shoes that fit well and don’t rub against it when walking around. Wearing open toe shoes, or going barefoot, can prevent bunions from becoming worse by reducing the pressure on the toes which could result in them becoming more inflamed over time.   

But keep in mind that walking barefoot will bring out any shortcomings in your biomechanics in the way you stand and walk. The underlying cause of a bunion (along with genetics) is often a misalignment in the foot or a lack of strength in the supporting muscles. If you already suffer from poor alignment, walking barefoot may actually aggravate your bunion and cause it to advance.  

Who can help with my bunion? 

Most podiatrists will have some knowledge on how to treat a bunion, although there are a number of treatment techniques, each with different short and long term results.  

Many podiatrists will prescribe orthotics for bunions. While orthotics are effective at holding your feet in the correct position while wearing them, they do not actually correct the alignment meaning as soon as you remove them, your feet will return to their incorrect position. 

Other podiatrists will recommend bunion surgery, however this can be painful and expensive. Like orthotics, surgery will not correct the underlying cause of your bunion. 

What is the best footwear option for bunions? 

So, what is the best footwear option for bunions? Well, it’s really a matter of having great foot alignment which means wearing shoes that fit well AND have good support, with the aim of reducing pressure on your bunion. 

Don’t forget that if you’re wearing open toe shoes, make sure they fit well and don’t rub against your bunion! And if you do choose to walk barefoot, be mindful of how you walk so as not to aggravate your bunion.  

What if I want to be able to walk barefoot? 

The simplest solution to all your footwear woes is to address your foot alignment with something that provides a longer-term result. 

We treat our patients using a technique known as Foot Mobilisation Therapy – a gentle hands-on approach that aims to strengthen the muscles in your feet and train them into holding your foot in the correct position. Along with at home exercise, FMT can be very effective at treating foot alignment issues, including bunions. The obvious benefit of this is that you no longer have to be as fussy about your footwear (or lack of) giving you the freedom to wear whichever shoes you like – or even none at all! 

How does the treatment work? 

We have over 19 years’ experience in treating bunion without surgery. The treatment consists of diagnosing the underlying cause and then going about improving the function of the foot and ankle. We do this through a hands-on technique that we combine with strengthening exercises that change the way you stand and walk and help improve the factors that lead to a bunion.   

The benefits of this treatment 

– No required change to your activity so you can stay active   

– No surgery   

– No orthotics   

– No footwear restriction so you can keep wearing the shoes you love 

 Will I have to get surgery? 

Generally speaking, no. Surgery is usually only indicated in extreme cases where treatment has been put off. We find that we can offer effective treatment if you would like to avoid surgery.   

Contact our Manly Vale clinic on 8966 9300 or book an assessment online 

Tags: Bunion Treatment Sydney, Bunion Surgery 


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