Bunions and Posture

While many women are paying large sums to repair their feet I’d like to help you prevent the need for surgery not to mention the pain and unsightly appearance of collapsed toes.

The other evening at the retreat I was listening to a woman describe her foot pain and as I asked her to show me how she bends herself into chairs an audience quickly gathered for a  lesson in foot dynamics and balance. As more and more ladies whipped off their shoes to compare bunions (and these were young women to my chagrin) I blew up some sacred cows about genetics, shoes and podiatry.

Try this simple test to see if you are heading towards bunion surgery in 10 years time:

1. Take off your shoes and socks

2. From a standing position, look down at your feet as you sit down into a chair

3. Do you see the pressure on your feet increase towards the arches and big toes?

4. Notice how you also pull your knees together as you bend (like a western lady is taught to do)

5. Due to the imbalance you’re creating there is a rounding of your shoulders and tightening of your neck at the same time…all of which destroys your posture over time.

This is simple to do, it’s just not simple to adjust for the

feeling that you’re not moving like a lady should.

It occurred to me recently that “us westerners” practice a similar cultural tradition of destroying a woman’s feet as did the ancient Chinese. (well as ancient as the early 1900’s when foot binding died out) By teaching her to bring her knees together every time she bends down the feet are placed under such duress that the load eventually influences the front toes to change shape.


bunion feet

It’s not just the feet that suffer, the knees wear out due to unbalanced loading towards the inside cartilage, the hip flexors become tighter than necessary, spinal collapse is standard and over time all sorts of other posture problems are created.

If you can maintain your knees over the top of your feet and keep the pressure through your feet even (i.e. no inward or outward rolling) as you bend, then you are largely preventing the need for your feet to build padding and support at the base of your big toe…and then subsequent deformity of the joint over time.

This is simple to do, it’s just not simple to adjust for the feeling that you’re not moving like a lady should.

But go ahead and keep your sensibilities intact if you want reconstructive surgery of your feet one day.

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