Can Massage Help Bunions?
A bunion is a malalignment on the base of the metatarsophalangeal joint, that’s where your big toe meets your foot. A bunion looks like a bony bump and it can be red, tender, and miserable. Massage cannot get rid of bunions, but it sure can help.
Tight calf muscles, weak arches and narrow shoes crowding the big toe toward the second toe are all contributing factors in bunions. Weakening of the ligaments and instability of the bones can eventually lead to the formation of a bunion.
By working on the lower leg muscles (Gastrocnemius, Hallucis and Flexor Hallucis Brevis) we can encourage the tissue around the joint to relax and give the joint some much needed mobility, making toe spacers and other tools more effective.
Foam rolling the calves and strengthening the arch of your foot can be helpful additions to your self-care routine as long as you're also correcting the malalignment issue. Physical therapy can be helpful here and massage is a great compliment to all that hard work.
In cases where bunions need to be surgically corrected, a skilled massage therapist can help with swelling and scar tissue formation from the hardware used to correct the injury.
Although treating your bunion(s) might not be at the top of your priority list, not treating your bunion can have unintended consequences. Arthritic changes and hammer toes can be additional conditions created by bunions.
Also, bunions alter gait mechanics because your big toe lacks the ability to properly push off the ground. This can translate up to the knees and hips causing stability issues and making you more prone to falling and possible ankle sprains.
Ready for help with the bunion problem? Reach out if I can help you!