Women, listen up! If you wear high heels or narrow-toed shoes, you may be years or even months away from legitimate foot pain or toe pain. Perhaps, like me, you are already experiencing some of it. The good news is that what I’ve learned can help.
Let’s talk about bunions. I know, I know. “Not me!” you say. “I don’t have bunions.” But what are bunions? If you’re like I was, you may have bunions confused with corns, those thickened, calloused layers of skin that develop on your feet that can be quite painful if pressed on. Well, bunions are something else. A bunion occurs when the joint of your big toe begins to misalign within your foot. This causes your toe to turn inward and your toe bone to jut out against your foot as you can see in the picture below. Not fun.
With a bunion, you will begin to experience pain on the outside of your foot as well as at times within the toe joint and even the entire toe. My own toe has on and off hurt continuously when walking. The pain would come and go.
Now, bunions are more common in women and can be influenced by your own genetics but can also be brought on by outside influences that can be avoided or protected against.
One of the more popular causes of bunions in women is the type of shoes we wear. Shoes that disrupt the normal pattern of the foot, particularly ones that narrow at the toe or raise the heel, can cause our feet to be pressed in ways that are unnatural. Overtime, we are in essence, training our feet to narrow, which causes the bunion to form.
So what can we do to prevent this, or correct it once it happens?
Consider breaking up with your Jimmy Choos.
The more often you wear your fav stilletos, the more damage you could be doing to your doggies. Try cutting down on how often you wear heels and narrow-toed boots and shoes. Your toesies will thank you.
If you aren’t quite ready to swear off the heels, (our calves look great in them so why would we?) below are a few things that you can do to help to undo the potential harm that your heels are doing.
Try Yoga Toes
Wearing Yoga Toes helps to stretch and spread all your toes so that not only is your big toe is coaxed outward, but the rest of your toes are also stretched. The result is that you develop a wider toe stand, which improves balance and posture, both of which are important for long-term health and wellness.
Wear a Bunion Splint
Similar to the yoga toes, a bunion splint works to coax the big toe outward. This specific splint that I have found has done wonders for me. I have tried others and see not much change, but after just a few nights wearing this one, I experienced immediate relief. I use both the Yoga Toes and the splint as with this splint I can stretch my toe even further, which is what I need to heal myself.
Use a Toe Protection & Separator
These toe separators are great for when you are wearing close-toed shoes, particularly the ones that could hurt you or cause you to form a bunion in the first place. They help to prevent your toe from being tweaked inward while providing cushioning against your bunion to save you from unnecessary pain.
All in all, I’ve spend a good deal of time nursing my own toe back to health and it’s a continuing activity, but knowing some good tips and tools to help in the process have been such a relief! I hope that my experience will help you to be more aware of your own foot health and perhaps to be of some aid to you if you yourself are experiencing some of the effects. Stay happy and healthy.