Ok, let’s get this straight–you certainly could have surgery on your bunion! If you want, I’m sure that your friends who have had the surgery will be happy to recommend a surgeon. Mostly in my practice as a Rolfer™ I see the surgical failures; I would not be going there myself if I could help it at all.
I personally would only have surgery on a bunion when it got to be disabling, and certainly would try this “Fix” first, seriously, for at least 2 months, 2 or 3 times a day. This “Fix” is from a book by Stark called “The Stark Reality of Stretching”. (I hope he would recognize it!) His special contribution to the world of stretching is the idea of the sarcomere “slide”.[sär′kōmir] Etymology: Gk, sarx + meros, part The sarcomere is a contractile unit of a myofibril, a part of a muscle.
You may still have some questions about how to fix your own bunion after these videos—-but I don’t think so! Mary Lowe and her husband and son have gone to a lot of trouble to make up these videos and put them up on youtube.
After the first one, which I liked a lot, Mary has a way with an explanation(!), I asked her to do a beginner version of the bunion stretch, one in which the stretch place where one feels the tension is held longer. Twenty seconds is arbitrary; if you feel the tension go out of the calf, just move up to the next place of tension.
Explanation of the exercise: You will remember from the original post that the point to this is that the bunion is originating in the connections to the toe out of the calf of the leg, in a part of the contractile system of the soft tissue of the calf of the leg called the sarcomeres.
We have a saying at the Rolf Institute® of Structural Integration that “the foot goes all the way to the knee” and obviously Mr. Stark had a similar thought through his work as a podiatrist.
You can tell if (the way you are doing the stretch) is working or not in the “walking around” part afterward. It will feel like your back heel is staying on the ground longer as you walk. Your leg calf parts will feel looser as you walk. It will take awhile to get rid of the bunion, if the stretch is working. Just stick with it. It takes time to change structure with this.
Here’s the first video that Mary did. Because she has done the stretch for awhile, she doesn’t have to hold the tension place as long as some might have to hold it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_60Zw_-0hI
Here is the more beginner video with the longer time of holding the stretch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1l6Cmp7jkk
Thanks, Mary! (and Will, and Eric)