Fixing Bunions in 5 Easy Steps

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘How to Fix Bunions in 5 Steps’ by Barefoot Strength

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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How does it work?
Bunions caused by misalignment, tight shoes, poor mobility, flat feet. Solution: wide shoes, toe spreaders, toe socks, ankle exercises, arch strengthening. Seek professional help if severe. Resources available.

Key Insights

  • Key Insights from the video:
  • Bunions are a common musculoskeletal issue that affects millions of people worldwide.
  • Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, are caused by a misaligned big toe that shifts towards the other toes instead of maintaining a straight line of action.
  • Wearing shoes with a narrow toe box is a major cause of bunions as it prevents natural toe spread.
  • Poor ankle mobility, particularly in dorsiflexion, can lead to bunion formation as it causes the foot arch to collapse and puts strain on the big toe.
  • Flat feet, specifically acquired flat feet or fallen arches, can contribute to the development of bunions by changing the weight distribution on the foot.
  • The five-step plan to fix bunions includes:
  • 1. Selecting shoes with a wide toe box to accommodate natural toe spread.
  • 2. Using silicone toe spreaders to separate and align the toes.
  • 3. Wearing socks with compartments for each toe to allow for independent toe movement.
  • 4. Focusing on ankle mobility exercises to prevent pronation and collapse of the foot arch.
  • 5. Strengthening the foot arch through exercises that involve toe spreading and squeezing.
  • In severe cases of bunions with arthritis, seeking professional help from a podiatrist is recommended.
  • The video provides additional resources such as recommended shoes, silicone toe spreaders, and a podcast on foot health and performance with a renowned podiatrist.

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Transcript

Bunions are one of the most misunderstood musculoskeletal issues we are faced with today. This is a shame since they affect more than 65 million Americans and millions more around the globe. Yet the fixes for this problem are actually pretty simple. So in this video, I’ll be taking you through the common causes of bunions and how to fix them.

For those of you who are new to the channel, my name is Chris and I’m a sports and exercise scientist. This channel is dedicated to teaching you how to build athleticism from the ground up. Our feet form the foundation for our upright bodies and are the only connection we have with the ground for all upright movements. We ought to then pay close attention to how feet are behaving if we want to perform at our best and remain injury-free.

Bunions are one of the signs that our feet are dysfunctional. Known as hallux valgus in the scientific literature, bunions are the result of a misaligned great toe whereby the first metatarsal head shifts its position laterally towards the other four toes instead of maintaining a proper straight line of action. Over time, the metatarsophalangeal joint, also known as the MTP joint or MPJ, at the base of the big toe starts to protrude and become inflamed. This often leads to discomfort during physical exercise and even basic actions such as walking.

So what causes bunions and how can we fix them? Well, there are three primary causes of bunions which we will cover first and then follow that up with a five-step plan to overcome these issues.

The first and probably the greatest cause of bunions is wearing shoes that have a narrow toe box. You see, our toes are made to be independent of one another for the simple reason that they spread or splay apart to grip the ground and increase our base of support during load-bearing tasks. After all, the feet have to balance and support our tall upright bodies.

Therefore, having the ability to increase one’s base of support through toe spread is an obvious characteristic we should try and preserve. Well, unfortunately, the rounded, narrow and pointy toe box design of modern footwear does not accommodate this natural toe movement. While this design may be desirable for the fashion runway, it is not good for our feet. These pointy toe boxes squeeze our poor toes together and prevent the natural spread or splay from occurring. The great toe being pressed up against the edges of the shoe experience the brunt of this non-ergonomic design. Over time, the big toe will actually start to conform to the shape of the shoe. This is how the misalignment of the big toe, known as hallux valgus or bunions, actually begins.

This makes sense when you consider how incredibly adaptable our bodies are. When we break a bone, for example, a cast is used to force the bone to grow back in proper alignment. Similarly, we can see how, due to certain ancient traditions in Africa and China, external accessories have been used to purposely manipulate the foot and neck shape. Well, our modern footwear is no different. If we spend enough time in modern shoes, our feet will conform to their shape.

The next cause of bunions is poor ankle mobility, particularly in dorsiflexion, that is, drawing your toes back towards your shins. You see, when we walk and get into the terminal stance phase of the gait cycle, just before our foot lifts off the ground, the ankle of the back leg dorsiflexes or bends forward. This is really important because this position enables us to take longer strides. Otherwise, we would just shuffle around, which not only looks weird but is also extremely inefficient.

When our ankles are tight, our brain hunts for extra range of motion around this area in an attempt to remain efficient. The default compensation is to use the arch as a second ankle by spinning the foot out, pronating, and collapsing the foot arch. In this way, we can artificially claim back the lost range of motion in the ankle joint and keep our stride length normal. But there are obvious side effects to this. I won’t mention them all in this video. We’ll focus only on what happens in the toe area. Check what happens to the big toe when this duck-footed walking pattern is activated. Every step places extreme

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘How to Fix Bunions in 5 Steps’ by Barefoot Strength