Many people with bunions ask how they can treat their condition without it having an impact on their running. It is possible to get relief from the pain and treatment of your bunion without having to stop running altogether, but there are some things you need to know about conservative treatments for your bunion before you decide which one is right for you. 

A bunion is a painful deformity of the big toe which can be triggered by running. It’s caused when the metatarsal bones in your foot drift towards each other, impacting on the big toe and causing it to bulge outwards from its normal position at an angle  

There are three main options for conservative treatment of bunions, including rest and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), orthotics or specialised shoes and padding and foot mobilisation and strengthening exercises. Rest is prescribed when the bunion is mild to moderate in severity and the patient has mild swelling around the area. The aim of this treatment option is to reduce the pressure on the bunion, which will reduce pain and stiffness. However, this option does not slow down or stop bone changes at all. 

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to treat bunions as they can help reduce both swelling and inflammation around the area of your foot where you have a bunion. Keep in mind that NSAIDs can increase the risk of stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, particularly when taken for long periods or at high doses, so they’re not suitable for everyone. 

Orthotics are devices designed to control the position and motion of your foot during running; there is evidence to suggest orthoses are effective in relieving pain associated with bunions.  

However, you will need to wear them for at least ten hours each day and running is not possible when wearing orthotics. The catch with orthotics is that you have to wear them all the time to be effective not great for females and the other catch they don’t strengthen or help to improve the alignment of the bunion.  

What is the conservative treatment?  

At Alternative Foot Solutions we have over 19 years’ experience in treating bunion without surgery. The treatment consists of diagnosing the underlying cause and then going about improving the function of the foot and ankle. We do this through a hands-on technique that we combine with strengthening exercises that change the way you stand and walk and help improve the factors that lead to a bunion.  

The benefits of this treatment  

  • Keep running  
  • No surgery  
  • No orthotics  
  • Keep wearing the shoes you love 

Will I have to get surgery?  

Generally speaking, no. Surgery is usually only indicated in extreme cases where treatment has been put off. We find that we can offer effective treatment if you would like to avoid surgery.  

Also, the down time after surgery is significant and depending on the type of surgery, running might not be possible for a period of time. We recommend if your aim is to keep running and remain active, conservative treatment is the best way to go. 

If you have any questions about how you can treat your bunion without impacting on your running, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we’re more than happy to help. 

What do I do next?  

I would suggest you make the most of our 65% off Bunion assessment which is just $35. Where we will assess the underlying causes of your bunion and work with you to avoid surgery and keep you running. Just give us a call on (02) 8966 9300.