Happy feet in sim­ple steps

The People - - LIFESTYLE - By An­to­nia Paget

THEY are ugly, painful and a source of shame – but even glam roy­als can get bunions.

Meghan Markle is thought to have had a bunion op af­ter pic­tures of her bare feet emerged on her tour of New Zealand.

Bunions are bony bumps on the in­side of feet, form­ing on the toe joint. They make the big toe point the wrong way and tend to get worse.

Ku­mar Ku­nasingam, an or­thopaedic keyhole bunion spe­cial­ist, said: “Bunions can af­fect any­one on this planet.

Hor­ror

bony lump and re­align­ing the toe. But Ku­mar says there are other steps you can take for tip-top foot health. A di­ag­no­sis is key so it is im­por­tant you visit your GP to find out about your bunions. There could be arthri­tis in the joint, which would need a dif­fer­ent treat­ment plan. They will see what is caus­ing your pain and can re­fer you to the cor­rect next step. But cor­rect­ing bunions does not have to cost a lot. Women do not need to buy spe­cial bunion shoes. They can buy men’s shoes in­stead.

A wider fit­ting will avoid rub­bing, so look at shoes such as Converse, train­ers or brogues.

If your bunions flare up, check your lifestyle. See what makes them hurt and rest your feet.

Stud­ies show pain can also spring up else­where in the body as a re­sult of stress brought on by work or per­sonal prob­lems.

Heels

Al­though high heels are not thought to help bunions, there is no need to avoid them.

In­stead, wear shoes that do not cover the top of bunions or rub.

Ku­mar says to take in­spi­ra­tion from Meghan “an in­tel­li­gent shoe wearer” who has looser fit­ting heels. If the pain and de­for­mity gets too much, speak to a GP about surgery.

Op­er­a­tions are far eas­ier now. Years ago, peo­ple would be put in plas­ter of Paris boots and their re­cov­ery time could be months. But th­ese days, with min­i­mally in­va­sive surgery, you can walk im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards.

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