Today on the Doc on the Run podcast, we’re talking about how new running shoes might have made your bunion worse overnight.
I got a really interesting comment from somebody who thought that she got some new running shoes and it made her bunions worse overnight. We’re going to talk about how that’s possible and what really might be going on, because if somebody says, “Look, my bunion got worse rapidly overnight, it’s bigger and now I need to have surgery,” there’s probably something else going on that you might want to be aware of that might help you really understand the situation better.
When we’re talking about a bunion, of course, we’re talking about the big toe joint right here and I think if I draw a couple of pictures, it might be helpful to illustrate this issue. Again, we’re talking about your foot, right at the big toe joint. When you have a bunion, you have a big toe that slopes over a little bit against the second toe and you have a bump that sticks out over here.
What’s really going on in there is that the first metatarsal bone is tilting over in that direction a little bit and then the toe looks like it’s moved over that way, but it’s really tethered, but the details of that are not real important. And so you have the metatarsal bone, the angle between these two bones is increasing, it looks like it’s tilting over that way and so when it rubs inside the shoe you start having pain here.
Now, if you think you have a bunion and suddenly it gets way bigger, many people think that bone has moved over further and that they need to have surgery to address that problem, but that’s rarely the case. What’s more often the case is that you get some new shoes and the little fluid filled sack in here, the bursa, actually swells up and becomes inflamed and irritated.
So when the bursa swells, if it swells up really big, well, then that makes the skin stick out further and it looks like it’s much, much bigger. It looks like your bunion has gotten huge overnight. Well, it doesn’t really do that.
If you have a bunion, maybe you have a mild bunion, your toe’s really not that crooked and you put some shoes on and the strap from the upper of the shoe goes right across it, well, it can really inflame it and make it stick out more. Well, how’s that happen? Well, if you look at this from the side, let’s say, this is your foot and this is the big toe joint out here and you have the metatarsal bone comes down like this, and you have to remember that little bursa, that little fluid filled sack, is sitting right over here on the side. That’s this one.
If you irritate that bursa and it gets inflamed, then it’s going to cause pain. When you get your new running shoes, you look at the shoe, well, what’s the shoe look like? Well, you’ve got the toe box, you’ve got the upper, you have the tongue and the laces and all that and this is what your running shoe looks like. You got all your laces up here and your foot’s sitting in there, you have the outsole and then you have some reinforcing material and when you’re buying new running shoes.
If you have bunions, if you’ve got this problem, you want to make sure that there’s no reinforcing straps or bands of stiff material that go right over that bunion because if they do come right over the bunion like that, it’s going to irritate the bursa. Then that little fluid filled sack will become more inflated, or it will become more inflamed, and it will become more irritated and then you think it got worse overnight.
But the changing position of the bone that actually starts leading you to the operating room, that almost never happens quickly, it happens very, very slowly. Just think about that. Think about the shoes you’re using, think about whether or not it’s irritating the bursa and then think about if there’s something you could do to just calm it down.
Obviously if you have bursitis because of this problem from your new running shoes and you actually do something to reduce the inflammation of the bursa and the bunion looks like it’s smaller, well, that means you don’t need surgery because the bones are not going to change position and surgery is really addressing the position of the bones.
I hope that helps you understand a little bit more about how some new running shoes could make it seem like your bunion got worse overnight. If you like this, please like it, share it, subscribe and I’ll see you in the next training. Thanks very much.