Besides being unsightly, bunions are downright painful. More common in women than men, bunions are hereditary, so giving yourself the upper hand may be what keeps you from traveling the same painful bunion path as others in your family.
Track your feet as time goes by -- if you notice a change in their shape, it may be time to make some changes. You may want to follow these tips from the beginning if bunions run in your family. Read on for 10 tips to help you prevent bunions.
1. Splint. If the bunion is at the very beginning of formation, the Cleveland Clinic recommends wearing a toe splint at night while you sleep to help realign your toe.
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2. Orthotic. Especially important for those who know that bunions run in the family, AXAPP Heathcare says to catch the bunion early and use orthotic inserts to ensure proper arch support for your feet.
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3. Toe stretch. Doing toe stretches and curls at 5-second intervals up 10 times a night may help strengthen and stretch tendons and muscles, according to Everyday Health.
4. Heels. According to the Cleveland Clinic, high heels must be shunned. The pressure of the heels puts the weight on the toes, causing bunions to form. Heels of one inch or lower should be worn. Wearing high heels for a special occasion may be okay; just keep an eye on your feet.
5. Weight. Harvard Medical School says to be sure to maintain a proper body weight. Too much weight on the feet causes stress and can push the toes into forming the bunion.
6. Massage. At night when you're relaxing, Everyday Health recommends massaging the bottom of your feet by rolling a golf ball around underneath them. This will help work out any knots that may cause tendons to bunch and pull.
7. Shoes. Another taboo, according to the Cleveland Clinic, is pointy toes on the shoes. Having your toes squished together will rush you to bunions. Buy shoes that have plenty of toe space and are made of foot-conforming materials.
8. Physical therapy. Medicinenet says you might want to consider physical therapy to see if you can prevent the formation of the bunion.
9. Marbles. A simple exercise to build strength in your toe muscles is recommended by Everyday Health. Place 20 marbles on the floor and pick them up with your toes.
10. Beach. Who doesn't love a barefoot stroll on the beach? Everyday Health says that those prone to bunions should go for that barefoot walk on the beach whenever possible to get a massage and build strength all at the same time.
Just because bunions run in the family doesn't mean you have to plan on having surgery at some point in your life. By making wise choices and taking care of your feet, you may be able to avoid going under the knife.