One of the visitors to this website wrote me a while ago about a new therapy he was trying to heal his bunions, called shockwave therapy. Usually this therapy is used to treat people suffering from chronic pain, but now it is also used to treat people with bunions. Read more about this shockwave therapy for bunions here – and if you have experienced this treatment yourself, please leave a comment.
It has been more than 2 years since I last posted something about bunion treatments here, but I just got news that the non surgical bunion treatment as used by Milly Ng in HongKong (see the blog post below – Microcurrent treatment) is now also available in the US. I think this is really good news!
Unfortunately, I'm living in Europe myself, so I'm not in a position to check this out any time soon. But for those who are, here's more information:
The treatment is given by Dr. Robert Levingston, who is based in Denver, Colorado. Check out his website (BunionTreatmentInfo.com) for a free report or a free consultation, to decide whether or not this treatment might be an option for you.
(And please don't forget to come back here and post a comment about your experiences!)
To get a 'taste' of what is possible, here's a before/after picture of someone who had her bunions treated this way:
Years ago, I already learned that separating your big toe from the rest of your toes when walking, might prevent the forming of bunions and bunion pain. (See also a previous blog post, where I wrote about the jikatabi, a boot worn by Japanese forest workers.)
Now a Japanese company has developed a new, modern version of this boot: the tabi. Watch this video to see how the tabi affect the position of your big toes. Whether or not it will help ease bunion pain or reduce your bunion size is something you have to find out for yourself, but I myself would really love to give it a try.
Nancy sent me a link to this video about a so called microcurrent treatment for bunions: a non-surgical treatment that looks very promising I think. The treatment is done by the Central Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic in Hong Kong.
Microcurrent treatment makes use of a very small current, about one millionth of an AA cell battery. Apparently such a small current can more easily penetrate damaged cells and restore them to their normal state. The clinic has done quite a few hallux valgus corrections with this technique. (As you may or may not know, hallux valgus and bunions often come together.)
You'll need about 10-30 sessions for this treatment and afterwards you have to do daily excercises for maintenance. Honestly, I regret not living closer to Hong Kong, as I'd really like to try this. Above all, I'm impressed by the microcurrent before/after pictures shown on their site. Who is going to bring this treatment to the rest of the world?
Thanks for the links, Nancy!
This week, I received some interesting links, one of them being a link to a page about calf stretching. You may wonder what calf stretching has to do with bunions, but according to some bunions originate from the connections to the toe out of the calf. By softening this area, your bunion pain may be eased considerably.
Although I don't suffer from bunion pain anymore due to everything I did so far to improve the condition of my feet, I'm definitely going to do this to see what effect is has on my bunions. The exercise is easy enough: have a look at the video showing how to do the exercise and/or the article explaining the exercise.
And if you'd like to know more about the theory behind this stretching exercise, get yourself a copy of the book where this exercise comes from: The Stark Reality of Stretching, by Dr. Steven Stark, a Canadian podiatrist.
Last summer, as I switched to custom made insoles again, I also decided to get a couple of MBT shoes (there was a shop that sold these kind of shoes located conveniently next to my podiatrist's practice). And I must admit, after using them for about 4 months now, I really, really like them!
The first day, I only had them on for half an hour or so and I felt quite unstable and walking on them made me very tired in my ankles. But only after a week or so I was completely used to them and already had them on for the whole day. They completely take the pressure off the balls of my feet, and therefore I almost don't feel the bones at the base of my second and third toes anymore. The size is wide enough, so I don't feel my bunions either (however bunion pain wasn't the problem for me anymore).
They say you have to be very careful when walking the stairs with these kind of shoes, but that doesn't really cause a problem for me (and I live in a house with lots of stairs). There's only one thing I cannot do with these shoes, and that is driving a car.
It's been a couple of months now since I changed my posture control insoles for custom made orthotics again. Why? Not because of my bunions really, but more because of the bones on the base of my second and third toes. They started to hurt more and more when I walked long distances.
Also, there was a new podiatrist in town, and people were speaking well of his knowledge and skills. So I decided to give custom made orthotics a try again.
So far (after a couple of months), I'm quite happy with them, especially when used in combination with the MBT shoes I bought at the same time. When I put them in my regular shoes, they're still ok, but after a while the little bones in my feet still start getting painful.
The other day Anke Szillat mentioned EFT to me (thanks, Anke!). EFT? I had never heard about it before but soon found out that these three letters stand for 'Emotional Freedom Techniques' and that it is a technique that can be applied to all sorts of ailments.
Can EFT be used to cure bunions as well? Though the EFT website presents a lot of case studies in which EFT was succesfully used, I couldn't find a case study involving bunions (yet). The technique however has been applied with succes to people suffering from such a wide variety of conditions, that I think it would be interesting to try it on bunions as well.
Read more about EFT on this special web page I dedicated to the subject.
For a couple of weeks now, I'm at stage II of the marigold treatment, which means I'm applying marigold tincture and oil to my bunions and the rest of my feet once or twice a day. That way, I'm hoping to maintain the improvement my feet have achieved thanks to the treatment.
By rubbing my feet with marigold oil yesterday, all of a sudden I noticed that the skin of my feet was changing. My feet have always been quite callous as a result of too much pressure on certain parts. Of course I'm always trying to keep things under control, having a pedicure once every two months and making sure I take good care of my feet myself, but still...
Now it seems like my feet are gradually softening and 'throwing of' their callosities. Nice surprise! I had a look at the marigold brochures I had received together with my home treatment, and indeed, there I found that marigold could also be beneficial in the treatment of callosities, corns, and even fungal infections. Looks like we have a cure-all for foot problems here :)
Last week I had my husband take a few pictures of my feet, to be able to assess the way I position them. The result? No doubt about it: I'm a supinator. A supinator is someone who's rolling his or her ankles outwards – as opposed to a pronator, who's rolling his or her ankles inwards.
But why should you know whether you're a pronator or supinator? For example when you plan to buy prefabricated orthopedic insoles. Orthopedic insoles are meant to correct faulty foot mechanics, so if you're choosing them yourself you have to know at least what they're supposed to do, to be able to choose the right ones. If you have your insoles custom made however, you won't need this information, as your podiatrist will tell you what correction you need.
Read more about this topic on this web page.
Are you on a diet this month, like I am myself? Every year when the Christmas holidays are over, and everything's back to normal, I'm trying to shed a few pounds. Not by following a fancy diet, just by eating healthy and avoiding sugars and fats as much as possible.
But this year, there's an additional reason why I want to loose some weight: it's good for my feet too when I'm lean and mean! By keeping my weight under control, I'm also keeping my bunion problem under control.
You wonder how that's possible? Well, the more you weigh, the more your feet have to carry, and the more pressure you put on your joints – including the first metatarsal joint (at the base of your big toe). And it's overpressure of those joints that is one of the reasons of bunion development. In fact it's so obvious that it's strange it never occured to me before. One reason the more to watch my food intake this year!
Because often pictures tell a lot more than words, I uploaded some pictures of my feet to the site. This way you can see for yourself if there's an improvement since I started this experiment six months ago.
Also, I updated the page about the experiment results. I make it a point to rewrite this page every two months or so, to keep you informed about the effects of the combination of bunion treatments I'm trying. Last time I did this was in November 2007, so it was about time!
I really do believe in the benefits of spreading your toes as much as possible. Like you do when you're wearing flipflops/yoga sandals or yoga toes. I so strong believe that spreading my toes is good for my feet, that I'm even wearing yoga toes in bed! At first I couldn't wear them for more than an hour or so before they started to irritate me. But now I'm half way through the night before I take them off. I hope this means my joints are becoming more flexible...
However, by wearing yoga toes and flipflops you're only exercising your feet passively. You should also exercise your toes actively, by separating your big toe from your second toe, and also by putting your first two toes together and pulling them away from the other three toes. That way you'll strengthen the muscles in your feet and toes and it'll help to relax them.
I think she's right. I do the elastic band exercise a lot (# 4 on the exercise page), but I have to agree that's a quite passive one. There are a couple of active exercises on my exercise page as well, but when I come to think of it, my favorite exercises are the passive ones. I guess it's time to make some adjustments to my exercise routine...
A happy and healthy 2008 to all of you! This year, I hope to continue my bunion experiment and write about anything I come across that looks interesting or promising for the treatment of bunions and hallux valgus.
Like the marigold therapy for instance. I had heard about this therapy before, but didn't want to write about it before I could tell you a bit more about it. In the meantime I've finished stage I of the treatment and am now at stage II (which takes a couple of months to complete).
Last week I added a page about the marigold therapy to the site. Here you can read my observations about this bunion treatment. As always, feel free to post your comments by clicking on the link below.