Bunions are a common foot condition characterized by a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. This can cause discomfort and pain, especially when wearing tight or narrow shoes.
Some of the common symptoms of bunion discomfort include:
- Pain and tenderness: The bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe can be sensitive to pressure and touch, leading to discomfort and pain.
- Swelling: The area around the bunion may become swollen, causing additional discomfort.
- Redness and inflammation: The skin around the bunion may become red and inflamed, causing further discomfort.
- Difficulty finding comfortable footwear: As the bunion grows, it can make it difficult to find shoes that fit properly and comfortably.
- Corns and calluses: The pressure of the bunion can cause the skin to thicken and form corns and calluses
One treatment option is the use of a splint in combination with physiotherapy rehabilitation.
There is evidence to suggest that the use of a splint can reduce pain and improve function in patients with hallux valgus. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research found that participants who used a splint for six weeks had a significant reduction in pain and improved foot function compared to those who did not use a splint.
In addition, physiotherapy rehabilitation can improve foot and ankle strength, range of motion, and balance in patients with hallux valgus. A systematic review published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy found that physiotherapy interventions such as strengthening exercises, manual therapy, and balance training can improve function and reduce pain in patients with hallux valgus.
Here are some exercises that can help:
- Toe stretch: Sit on a chair and extend one leg. Hold the big toe with your fingers and stretch it away from the foot. Hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds and repeat 10-15 times.
- Calf stretches: Stand facing a wall, place your hands on the wall and step one foot forward. Keep the back leg straight and the front knee bent. Lean forward until you feel a stretch in the back of the calf. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
- Foot rolling: Sit on a chair and place a small ball under your foot. Roll the ball back and forth under the foot, applying gentle pressure. Repeat for 2-3 minutes.
- Ankle strengthening: Sit on a chair with your feet on the ground. Lift one foot off the ground and move your ankle up and down, and side to side. Repeat for 10-15 times and switch to the other foot.
- Toe raises: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly lift your toes off the ground while keeping your heels on the ground. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat for 10-15 times.
It’s important to note that these exercises may not correct the underlying bunion deformity but can help to alleviate symptoms and improve overall foot function.
Overall, the use of a hallux valgus splint in combination with physiotherapy rehabilitation can be an effective treatment option for patients with hallux valgus. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on individual needs and preferences.