Here's a Treatment for Paula's BunionsWhen the big toe gets pushed over toward the second toe, a condition called hallux valgus develops. When this shift in toe alignment happens, the second joint of the big toe becomes large and prominent. This bump along the inside edge of the big toe is commonly known as a "bunion."
Hallux valgus is often the result of wearing narrow, pointed shoes. Women are affected most. Other causes include heredity, stroke, flat feet, a tight Achilles' tendon, and other internal foot disorders.
Treatment may begin with a change in shoes or foot inserts. The shoe should have a wide box so that each toe has enough space to lie flat inside.
Doctors in Taiwan have devised a new treatment method. This is a shoe insert with a special toe separator. It's called a foot-toe orthosis. The orthosis must be placed under the foot with the toes separated and placed carefully around a special upright post. The foot and foot-toe inserts are then placed inside the shoe.
A small group of women tried this treatment. Over a three-month period of time, their ability to walk improved. They could walk for longer distances and with less pain. According to the authors of this study, it isn't clear how long the insert must be worn. More studies are needed to find out if the changes are permanent.
Simon F. Tang, MD, et al. The Effects of a New Foot-Toe Orthosis in Treating Painful Hallux Valgus. In Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. December 2002. Vol. 83. No. 12. Pp. 1792-1795.
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