Bunions are every shoe lover’s worse nightmare. A bunion is a painful bump that forms on the joint at the base of the first or fifth toe making it difficult to wear shoes. These deformities progress over time and can be debilitating especially in runners. Overpronators are more prone to bunions because they place excessive stress on the big toe when running. This repetitive stress causes changes to the joint resulting in deviation of the toe inwards towards the other toes.
Padding and taping your foot before running can help position the foot in a more “normal” alignment and prevent abnormal stresses. Toe exercises can help strengthen the foot muscles and reduce the progression of the deformity. Physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce the inflammation at the joint. Orthotics and proper fitted shoes with a deep and wide toe box are also recommended. If these treatment options fail or in severe cases surgical intervention is required to realign the joint and remove the bony bump on the side of the foot.