There are many factors that can contribute to the development of a bunion.  One common factor that can contribute is Hyperpronation.  Normally when we walk a foot will properly rotate in an inward and downward motion.  This motion is very subtle but it allows the foot arch to evenly disperse weight and compensate for uneven pavement.

Hyperpronation as seen here can cause excess weight on the big toe and lead to a bunion.

Sometimes a foot will rotate or (pronate) in an excessive and abnormal manor.  This condition called Hyperpronation will cause the foot to rotate too much to a point where the inner arch can move towards the ground.  While this condition is often referred to as “flat feet”, is is a disorder that has more to do with joints and muscles.  The incorrect motion will eventually lead to other problems as other muscles and joints try to compensate.  As noted previously, a bunion is one of the problems that can arise from Hyperpronation. (see what causes a bunion)

There are many abnormalities that can cause this motion to become abnormal.  Weak hip abductors (the muscles on the back of the hip), a short Achilles tendon sometimes caused from wearing high heeled shoes, or it can be caused by an abnormality of the muscle in the calf that runs under the foot (tibialis posterior tendon).  Depending on the underlying cause for your hyperpronation, there are many things a person can do to correct or compensate for this problem.

Orthotic arch support inserts like this can compensate for your hyperpronation.

People suffering from Hyperpronation should not wear tight fitting shoes or high heels.  Wearing shoes with proper arch support or purchasing custom orthotic inserts can also help to fix the issue.  Your podiatrist can provide you with these custom inserts, but there are many over the counter orthotic inserts that one can purchase as well depending on the severity of your condition.  Walking barefoot is also a common remedy that is given so that sufferers can strengthen the foot and ankle muscles.  Try out a pair of five toed running or walking shoes.  Many people swear by these products but consult your physician first.  There are also several stretching and strengthening exercises one can do.  Try toe raises, heel & calf raises, and thigh exercises such as hip abductors.  Also you can try “toe pickups” as stated in a previous article bunion exercises.    As always check with a doctor to make sure what your underlying issue is that is causing your hyperpronation before purchasing any correction products.

There are many things a person can do to aid in bunion correction and relief.  These include several exercises that can be done on a regular basis to help ease the pain.  Try some of these out at the end of the day while barefoot on the couch:

Toe Pulls
Hold your big toe with one hand, and your foot with the other.  Gently pull your toe and hold for about ten seconds.  For a variation, try gently twisting the toe clockwise and counterclockwise while pulling on it.

Toe Stretches
To stretch your toes, point your toes forward for 5 seconds, then curl them for 5 seconds.  Repeat this as many times as you are comfortable with.

Toe Presses
Press and stretch your toes against a hard surface in one direction and hold for about 10 seconds.  Then press and hold them in the other direction for the same time.

Towel Pulls
Sit in a chair barefoot with your toes on the edge of a towel. Start flexing (curling) your toes and pulling the towel to draw it up under your toes.

Rubber Band Toe Pulls
Hold both of your feet in front of you with your heels together.  Wrap a rubber band or a similar item around both big toes and pull them away from each other.  Hold this for a few seconds.

Marble Grabs
While sitting or standing, try to pick up small items like marbles or something similar with your toes.  Try to move them from one pile to another.

pampered toes toe spreader
These spread each individual toe and feel great at the end of the day (Click For Details)

Tennis Ball Raises
These will help to train proper alignment of the feet and ankles which will lessen undue stress on the big toe from over pronated posture.  Stand up  with a tennis ball squeezed between your ankles. Rise slowly onto the balls of your feet with your ankles level and then slowly lower back down.  Repeat as desired

Wear A Toe Stretcher/Spreader At The End Of The Day
In addition to toe exercises, wearing a toe spreader at the end of the day can give a great relief to stressed joints and sore bones.  These spread and stretch your toes apart and can be worn while simply relaxing.  They will also help with alignment.

In conjunction to bunion pads and bunion night splints, doing these exercises on a regular basis will help slow the progression of your bunion and aid in bunion correction.

This low profile bunion splint is light and thin enough to be worn inside shoes
This low profile bunion splint is light and thin enough to be worn inside shoes (CLICK TO ORDER)

A bunion night splint is one of many bunion recovery products available over the counter.  It is a device that is worn over a bare foot that gently straightens and strengthens the big toe ligament back into a proper alignment.  They are highly recommended for patients with a mild bunion who want to avoid surgery.  Since most bunion splints are difficult to walk in or to fit in shoes, many people opt for a bunion night splint simply for convenience.

A bunion splint works by stretching out the muscles and tendons in the big toe, which helps correct the underlying cause of a bunion and relieves the continuous ache many people experience.  This helps a bunion from getting worse and in many cases can help a person suffering from bunions avoid costly surgery altogether if worn continuously.  Many doctors of patients suffering from bunions will recommend a bunion splint in lieu of surgery.

This more rigid splint is designed for night use
This more rigid splint is designed for night use (CLICK TO ORDER)

Bunion splints come in many shapes and sizes.  There are many varieties of night versions designed to be worn while off your feet, and others designed to be worn while walking.  There are even hybrid units with hinges that allow for walking and night use.  All of these devices require wider fitting shoes if you wish to wear them during the day.  All quality bunion splints should be washable and made of a breathable material so your foot doesn’t sweat too much.

Before you resort to surgery, you should try picking up a bunion day splint, a bunion night splint or a hinged bunion splint to try to aid in bunion correction.