TuneUpFitness Blog

Bunions and More

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I have written at least a couple dozen blogs since my last entry many moons ago. And they are all in my head. Time to put thoughts on computer.

At this very moment, I am semi-reclined with my left foot elevated and iced following surgery a week ago. My hapless disregard for the health of my left foot over the years allowed a debilitating hallux valgus, AKA bunion, and hammer toe to progress and require surgery.

There is some controversy as to the origin of bunions. According to researchers who examined over 2,400 adults from the Framingham Foot Study, significant heritability of bunions was found.  This study claims to be the first findings of heritability of foot disorders in humans. I am not convinced.

Although I am only a study of one, my experience over the years goes like this: Commit the time and effort to manually flexing and stretching each individual toe downward toward the sole of the foot, repetitively, daily. Include ankle and foot joint mobility, and lower leg muscular flexibility and strength exercises.

With consistent, daily, repetitive movement, I enjoyed happy, painless feet. Life gets busy, right? And there is only so much time I have to commit to my daily fitness program…45 minutes on my toes took a back seat over the years.

Hallux valgus...preventing you from kicking butt and taking names
Hallux valgus…preventing you from kicking butt and taking names

And, of course, my shoes, including my running shoes. I thought I chose well, picking a running shoe with a wide toe box to accommodate my developing bunion. It turns out, according to Dr. Ray McClanahan, of nwfootankle.com out of Portland, OR, our rigid footwear is the culprit. Industrialized world footwear elevates the heel above the ball of the foot, bends the toes upward (known as toe spring), and squeezes the toes together.

Over time, this deforms the foot, leading to a host of foot problems, gait abnormalities, musculoskeletal pathologies. My path to the operating room was a slippery slope of my negligence and need for further education on foot health.

In Every Woman’s Guide to Foot Pain Relief, Katy Bowman clearly highlights that we need to know and love our feet if we wish to enjoy our golden years as mobile and independent individuals. We must embrace that in order for the entire body to function optimally, we must move more AND move better!

Come back Friday to delve into the foot care regimen I intend to follow post-surgery.

Enjoyed this article? Read Adductor Hallicus: Bunions Be Gone

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