Ease Foot Pain Caused by Running with Bunions

Posted by Dr. Brian Nagy on August 25, 2017

young woman running on park trailAre you a runner who's suffering from bunions? Whether you're an elite runner or just training for a specific race or two, you know the benefits that running offers. It can be a great way to get the exercise you need, keep you connected to friends who also run, improve your cardiovascular health, and make you feel well. However, not every run is going to feel good. Running with bunions or other foot problems can cause foot pain, derail your training, and become serious problems that require medical attention.  

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a bony bump on your big toe that can be red, swollen, and painful. With a bunion, your big toe looks deformed and may even start to cross over your smaller toes. Technically, a bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of your big toe that forms when your big toe moves out of its regular position. Bunions are caused by ill-fitting shoes, heredity, and certain foot conditions or injuries. Running can contribute to the formation of bunions, and running with bunions can make them worse and be the source of a lot of pain in your foot. 

Are you a runner who's suffering from bunion pain?

Bunions can be exacerbated by your running even if they don't seem to be causing you much trouble. Running with bunions can cause toe pain, foot pain, swelling, restricted movement, and worse. Complications due to untreated bunions include bursitis, hammertoe, and pain in the ball of your foot known as metatarsalgia. If you are a runner with bunions, you should take extra caution when you hit the trail or sign up for another race. 

How can you ease foot pain due to running with bunions?

Depending on the severity of your bunion, you might simply need better shoes. Then again, you might need surgery. See your podiatrist for a proper diagnosis and a clear understanding of what all your options are. In the meantime, there are some steps you can take to ease bunion pain while you run.

  • Accept it. If you know you have a bunion, don't ignore it! Remember, they can get worse and cause further damage to foot.
     
  • Ice an inflamed bunion. This will help reduce the inflammation. You might also try alternating warm and cold wraps periodically for extra comfort.

  • Take aspirin. This reduces inflammation and helps ease pain.

  • Change your shoes. Try a slightly larger or wider shoe. Some specialists even suggest that proper lacing of your running shoes can make a difference. 

  • Tape your toe. Try orthotic/sports tape on your toe to keep it in the proper position. 

  • Use pads and gels. There are plenty of good pads, wraps, gels, and shoe inserts on the market that can help ease your bunion pain. Ask your podiatrist for recommendations if you don't know where to start. 

  • Visit a spa. Many runners find whirlpools and massage to be helpful when it comes to painful feet. 

  • Consider minimally invasive surgery (MIS). It is possible you'll need to have surgery to remove the bunion. HyProCure® is a minor procedure that realigns your ankle bone and prevents it from sliding forward, keeping your foot in its normal position. This helps distribute your weight evenly and relieves the kind of pressure and instability of your big toe that causes painful bunions. Your podiatrist can tell you more about MIS.

  • Ask a podiatrist. Following practical self-care tips like those listed above can help ease bunion pain, especially when you're running. But when self-help measures aren't enough to keep you in the race, call your New Hampshire podiatrist

The professional and friendly staff at Nagy Footcare can determine whether bunions are causing your pain. We believe you deserve to have the best available treatments delivered by a qualified, compassionate podiatrist. Contact us today and let us help you.

At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.

5 Reasons Runner Shouldn't Ignore Their Foot Pain- eBook

Topics: Bunions, Running

We are committed to providing educational information because, at Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.

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