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Fix your own dang Bunion: the Videos

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, sarxmeros, 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:

Here is the more beginner video with the longer time of holding the stretch:

Thanks, Mary!  (and Will, and Eric)

This Post Has 5 Comments
  1. Dear Linda – Thank you for the video and this information. I have spent days online looking for bunion treatments and investigating whether surgery is an option or not. I am due to go to see a podiatrist this Tuesday and am nervous to hear what he will say. I have been walking back and forth about a mile to and from work each day for over a year and a half now. I am also on my feet all day working with refugee children. I am really more concerned about them than my feet, but, when my feet started to hurt, I realize that I must have a problem. I think that my shoes – combined with a genetic predisposition for this — is the problem. ( mom worked on her feet too and had bunions) I was wearing tennis shoes – but they were a rather “cheap” variety with little arch support. I am going to try your method first and if you have any other ideas for me, please let me know. Thank you for being so willing to help so many of us with these foot-related problems. This is a blessing to us all.

  2. If you think the book is the right size and you have your feet in the right place for the exercise, and you still have pain, please stop.
    See your doctor, check it out.

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