This past weekend, I had a girls night in with a dear friend of mine. As we sipped wine and talked about work, love and shoes, I looked down at her feet – which are typically clad in stilettos – and noticed that the poor girl has bunions.
You can imagine my conflicted feelings about broaching the embarrassing topic. On the one hand, I have my own foot pain issues to share. On the other, she could easily take offense to my boldness at pointing out her bony deformities.
I waited, downed another glass of pinot noir and made my case for non-invasive bunion correction.
Why you can't ignore bunions
I gently let my friend know that foot conditions like bunions, as well as hammer toe and fallen arches, are almost guaranteed to get worse if they're not treated. At first, the little bump on the inside edge of your foot is just a cosmetic issue that restricts the types of shoes you can wear – a fact which caused her a startle.
Once bunions become advanced, they can reduce flexibility in your foot and even change the way you walk – an effect that can lead to a number of other lower extremity problems. Worse yet, the pain can get to a degree that it keeps you from exercising or just carrying out everyday tasks, as in, buh-bye marathon shopping trips.
Non-invasive is the way to go
In general, elective surgery has risks that potentially outweigh benefits, which we are reminded of when watching the cast of Real Housewives of Orange County. Infection, scarring, over-correction and recurrence of bumps following bunion surgery are known to occur in an estimated one in 10 patients, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Moreover, bunion splints and orthotics have been shown to do the job, so why resort to going under the knife? I showed my chum my beloved Bunion Aid, which keeps my bony deformities in check but still allows me to move about the house while I'm wearing it, thanks to its hinged design.
It's all in the shoes
Finally, I had to break it to my dear friend that she needs to lay off the stilettos from time to time, as these shoes are known to exacerbate bunions and hammer toe. I even offered to help her go shopping for some cute flats or loafers – noting that we'll need to pick a pair with a roomy toe box and good arch support.
Remember, readers: Friends don't let friends walk around with bunions.