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Leading Sydney CBD and North Shore Sports Podiatrist Explains Why Manual Therapy is the Preferred Alternative Treatment for Bunions
Why Manual Therapy is the Preferred Alternative Treatment for Bunions
If your big toe points towards your smaller toes, or you have a bony growth on the side of your big toe, you probably have a condition called Hallux Valgus commonly known as bunions. This deviation of the big toe towards the smaller toes causes a bony growth or bunion to form on the side or over the top of the big toe joint.
Bunions are usually but not always immediately painful and can make wearing shoes difficult and uncomfortable, says leading sports podiatrist and director of The Footwork Clinic in Sydney, Mark Lin. “They can also cause embarrassment due to the change in appearance of the sufferer’s feet.” Studies show that symptoms often only occur after the condition has progressed to an advanced level. Therefore by the time a bunion starts hurting, significant irreversible damage has already occurred.
Lin’s associate, Wei Lee says “Bunions are generally believed to be caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow or tight, inherited genetic traits or by medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.” Lin adds, “Stress on the foot from participating in sports can also be a cause. However the primary cause is often due to an underlying biomechanical problem in the feet, resulting in a compensation which results in a bunion being formed.”
Bunions are caused primarily by the way that a person walks and stands. Misalignment of the ankle, restricted joints in the foot, inactive foot muscles, flatfeet and foot pronation can all contribute to the development of a bunion.
If left untreated, deviation of the big toe is likely to increase over time, resulting in the bunion getting larger. This can lead to secondary issues including osteoarthritis. The smaller toes may also develop deformities causing hammertoes or clawed toes. Both bunions and hammertoes are progressive and do not go away by themselves.
Introducing an Alternative to Bunion Surgery
While surgery is the traditional treatment for bunions, most people would rather avoid it due to the cost, pain involved and protracted recovery time. Fortunately, there is a less invasive and more effective alternative. Foot mobilisation is a technique which corrects the misalignment of the foot joints and strengthen the muscles around the joint to reinforce the correct position.
Foot Mobilisation Techniques (FMT) is a manual therapeutic method to treat musculoskeletal conditions of the foot and leg, and is widely recognised by therapists including chiropractors, physiotherapists and osteopaths.
Mark Lin and partner Wei Lee of The Footwork Clinic are experienced practitioners in this technique. “The treatment helps not only in improving the alignment of the big toe but also addresses the underlying problems that cause the bunion. This is combined with corrective exercises to strengthen weak and tight muscles and soft tissue that has been compensating to hold the big toe in the misaligned position.” says Lin.
“Foot mobilisation has a high success rate and is recommended as early as possible, even if the sufferer feels no pain. The sooner treatment is started, the sooner the underlying cause can be addressed, improving the chances of correcting the misalignment and reducing the bony growth.” says Lee.
In many cases, when treatment has been delayed, the chances that the deformity can be fully corrected is unlikely. However it is still possible to reduce pain, improve the function of the foot, maintain mobility of the bunion joint, and prevent the bunion from getting worse.
FMT therapy aims to improve the position of the joints to allow your body to naturally restore optimal biomechanics. The joints will be taken through their natural motions to break up adhesions and restrictions and simple corrective exercises will be prescribed to maintain effect of the treatment.
FMT Therapy still viable after bunion fusion surgery
Foot mobilisation treatment is still beneficial even after bunion surgery. The big toe joint plays a significant part in our ability to walk and once the joint has been fused, our body compensates. Restriction of the joint can lead to foot, ankle, knee, hip and even lower back issues. Long term management is likely to be necessary to maintain optimum function of the lower limb.
Why Foot Mobilisation is the preferred treatment of choice for bunions
- A safe alternative treatment to treat bunions naturally and guide the joints and big toe to their correct position without orthotics or invasive surgeries
- A corrective approach that not only treats the symptoms but addresses the underlying cause of the problem, allowing the body to heal naturally.
- The therapy allows you to continue normal daily activities in most cases.
Mark Lin, the Principal Sports Podiatrist and Director for The Footwork Clinic elaborates, “At Footwork Podiatry, our sports podiatrists are highly trained and experienced in unique techniques to fix foot and ankle problems. We help you to feel better, move better and perform better without medication, surgeries, or changing your footwear in a majority of the cases.
We believe the body has an incredible capacity to heal itself from injuries. Chronic or recurring symptoms occur when there is an interference to the healing process such as scar tissue, biomechanical stress, structural misalignment, active trigger points or repetitive strain. Our hands-on techniques help to eliminate this interference to healing, by stimulating the body’s natural healing response.”
The Footwork Clinic focus on diagnosing and treating foot and ankle pain using advanced musculoskeletal techniques. They are experts in lower limb pain and injury treatment and are committed to providing holistic health care. Get in touch with them to experience the benefits of this new and improved bunion therapy. The Footwork Clinic are situated in Chatswood on Sydney’s North Shore and in Sydney’s CBD.
For further information, visit the The Footwork Clinic – Leading Sports, Podiatry, Foot And Lower Limb Corrective Services to book online, or call Mark Lin or his friendly team on +61 2 9131 6891.
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The information contained in this guide is provided in good faith and is not intended to be nor is it to be used as a substitute for any sort of professional, medical or podiatric advice. An accurate diagnosis can only be made following personal consultation with a podiatrist. Any users should always seek the advice of their podiatrist, or other qualified healthcare providers before commencing any treatment.
We hope you enjoyed this article
The information contained in this article is based on the authors opinion only and is of a general nature which is not indicative of future results or events and does not consider your personal situation or particular needs. Professional advice should always be sought relevant to your circumstances.
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