Blisters, calluses and black toenails are common cosmetic issues for runners that don’t very often interfere with running routines because they are easily treatable; but the foot pain that comes from running with bunions is a different story. Bunions are extremely uncomfortable and not easy to get rid of, but there are bunion treatment options that will help ease your pain when running.
A bunion is a large bump that forms on the inside portion of the big toe’s first joint, causing the big toe to angle inward toward the other toes. It may swell, become red and sore, and the skin will probably thicken at the base of the big toe. It’s especially painful for runners who over-pronate because it magnifies the bunion deformity with every step – unless it can be easily controlled or treated.
So, if you have a bunion, what can you do to still enjoy running?
First, accept that you can manage the pain caused by the bunion, but can’t eliminate it unless you have some kind of bunion surgery. You can thank your parents for this because bunions are hereditary.
Second, try changing your shoes. Wearing looser fitting shoes that don’t rub against the bunion and aggravate it will help. Also, avoid wearing shoes with narrow toe boxes and high heels on a regular basis.
Third, custom orthotics might be an option to consider. These are inserts made for your specific foot structure that are placed in your shoe to help correct foot imbalances or issues like over-pronation. They may help take the pressure off of your bunion. (Note: at Adler Footcare, patients are first evaluated to see if they are a candidate for HyProCure® before being recommended custom orthotics).
Fourth, if none of the bunion treatment options above work, people often try anti-inflammatories, padding, or other devices such as the bunion bootie, toe separators or taping the foot, but these rarely work and are really just a waste of time and money.
Fifth, if your bunion is starting to cause you chronic foot pain when running, it’s time to see a podiatrist. Be sure to ask about HyProCure®, a treatment that inserts a small titanium stent into the naturally occurring space between the ankle and heel bone. This corrects foot misalignment and keeps the ankle bone from rolling inward, a common issue among runners.
It’s a quick outpatient procedure that has a positive impact on bunions. So much so, that a study indicated there is a 40% to 50% reduction in both the size and pain level of bunions for patients after receiving HyProCure®.
If you’re trying to run through your foot pain caused by bunions, you don’t just have to ease it you can treat it.