Walking and Running Season Opens for Charities, Bunions Should Not Get in the Way of Contributing
Alpha Orthotics Corp. helps walkers and runners participate in charity-sponsored walk-a-thons, run-a-thons, and marathons. Millions of Americans participate of which most have one common concern – their two feet - and making sure they get through the event without blisters and sores. A subset of this active group has bunions and wants to get through the event without bunion pain.
Walking for a cause started in 1968 by the American Freedom from Hunger Foundation with 3,000 participants and quickly grew into a coordinated walk during 1970 which included 150,000 walkers covering 2 million miles. The popularity of this fund-raising venue has grown to thousands of events per year walking for local and national charities. No matter what the venue or cause, millions of Americans participate.
According to the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons, over ½ of women have some degree of Hallux valgus (bunions), and a lesser amount among men. Therefore, it can be assumed that a significant number of participants have bunions. Those who have bunions, have even more to be concerned about than just blisters and sores – aggravating the bunion to the point of excruciating pain, placing excess pressure on the forefoot metatarsals and not having enough support in the metatarsal arch.
So for those who have bunions, following are some tips to prevent bunions from interfering with participation.
Prior to the event:
- Purchase shoes from a professional shoe store where the personnel are trained to assess type of feet and gait.
- Select socks that divert friction and moisture away from the skin such as double layer socks or anatomically padded zones of acrylic/CoolMax® fiber.
- Make sure shoes are well worn-in prior to the actual event. Wear the shoes during all training sessions.
- Build up time in shoes; running in shoes for 45 minutes is different than walking in shoes for 8 hours per day.
- After each training session, wear a bunion splint, such as Bunion Aid®, to relieve bunion pain and redistribute pressure points away from the bunion.
Alice Flaherty, physical therapist, recommends, “To condition properly for the race, include other activities such as hiking on varied surfaces and bicycling with your walking program.”
During the event:
- If you have taken precautions leading up to the event, you should be able to enjoy the day without bunion pain, blisters or sores.
After the event:
- Take off those shoes and wear a splint barefoot or in a sock to relieve the pressure. Bunion Aid provides the comfort of a soft splint with the support of a rigid splint. This kind of splint provides support to the metatarsal arch and redistributes the weight away from the metatarsal joint, relieving pressure from the bunion.
- Contrasting an ice bath and a warm bath helps with post-exercise aches and pains from swelling. Place foot in bucket of warm water for 3 minutes, and then in a bucket of ice water for 1 minute. Repeat 4 times for a total of 16 minutes, and as often as 3 times per day. Although an extreme feeling, the body will adjust.
- Soak, scrub, and massage your feet, toes, and ankles. Epsom salt is known to help sooth away bunion pain.
- Exercise your feet by pointing toes, rotating feet, rolling the foot over a golf ball, and picking up a towel with your toes.
About Bunion Aid
Bunion Aid, distributed by Alpha Orthotics Corp., is a German-engineered flexible hinged splint that relieves bunion pain and corrects big toe mal-positioning in mild to moderate Hallux valgus (bunions). In the case of bunion surgery, the bunion splint helps maintain the surgical fixation of the big toe.
About Alpha Orthotics Corp.
Alpha Orthotics Corp. (http://www.alphaorthotics.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of German Hallufix Corporation. Alpha Orthotics markets and sells patented, German-engineered non-invasive orthotic products directly to consumers and to the medical community.