Here’s why you get bunions after lockdown and your shoes don’t fit, says top podiatrist

We’re not sure about you, but a quick poll in the GLAMOR office revealed a rather strange phenomenon – the lockdown has taken its toll on our feet. Not only do we have trouble putting our feet back in shoes (how could we have been wearing heels all night?), We suffer from bunions and pain like never before.

So is it just us? We asked Christine Yau, musculoskeletal podiatrist at Harley Medical Foot and Nail Clinic, about why we might be going through foot hell and what we can do about it.

Lockdown was BAD news for our poor feet

Christine said our problems are probably due to “a sudden increase in activity after a period of low activity, or because of too much activity without enough rest period.”

She said: “A period of staying at home while wearing comfortable slippers or being barefoot, and then switching back to narrow, narrow shoes or shoes that press on your toes can increase the pain in your feet. bunions on your skin, this can cause calluses to build up, inflammation and possible ulceration.

“It’s also important to look at the mechanics of your foot as you walk to see if, during your walk cycle, you are applying pressure directly to the bunion. It can also cause pain in other joints on the sole of the foot since you will likely be compensating your weight to avoid big toe pain. “

Do you have the “locking foot”? We’ve all reshaped our feet by walking barefoot at home, so here are 5 easy ways to put shoes back on without damaging yours.

So what can we do to fix our feet in time for summer?

“There are a lot of things that can make hallux valgus (that’s the medical term for bunions) more manageable. These things won’t make the lump go away or straighten the toe, but they can make you feel a lot more sore. comfortable. “

Christine advises: “Wear the right shoes appropriate for the appropriate activities, don’t wear general shoes when going for long walks, for example you should wear supportive sneakers. “

She added, “Shoes are the most important part of managing a painful Hallux Valgus, and you should look for shoes that have the following characteristics:

Wider shoes: Hallux valgus usually makes your foot wider than before, and poorly fitting shoes will make your pain worse. Most adults increase at least one shoe size in their lifetime and so if you have developed Hallux Valgus it is worth checking to see if your shoe size has changed. You can find foot measurement guides online.
Closure (laces or velcro): Even if you have a wide shoe, if there is no tie, your foot may slide forward in the shoe; by squeezing the toes and pressing on the bump. Good binding prevents your foot from doing this.
Soft or stretchable shoe lining: This can help reduce the pressure of the shoe on the forefoot. Sneakers with an Airtex upper lining can be useful as they adapt to the shape of your foot.
Padding: The hallux valgus can be padded using soft “bunion pads” and “bunion sleeves”, which help prevent your shoe from rubbing on the lump. Gel toe separators can be helpful in keeping the big toe in an upright position and reducing prominence or chafing between the 1st and 2nd toes.
Soles: Insoles can help in cases where the bunion causes pain in the ball or sole of the foot or pain in the joint. Your podiatrist can provide them to you if we think they could be of use to you.
Exercises and stretches: Improving flexibility and strength in the ankle and big toe can help take stress out of your joints in the front of the foot. Try towel toe curls and toe mobilization exercises.

Christine advises anyone with bunions or foot pain to “see a podiatrist early – don’t wait until it is red and inflamed and in so much pain that you cannot walk”.

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She adds: “Bring your shoes to a podiatrist, he can check if they are the right size, if they apply pressure on your foot and if they are suitable for the right activities. We can also perform an initial assessment where the insoles can be prescribed based on your foot posture and your walking gait to help reduce pain in the bunion area. “

“A podiatrist can also examine whether the callus can put pressure on the foot and shoes and also manage the wound and prevent infection.”

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