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Anyone have a solution for bunion pain?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by Ice Queen, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. Ice Queen

    Ice Queen Member

    Since moving south, I don't get to skate often as the rink is 2 hrs. away. I developed a large bunion on my one foot, and surgery is not an option because I have no health insurance. I have not seen an orthopedic yet, but I am sure I will have to. Anyway, I wondered if anyone here suffers with bunions and how they cope with wearing a tight skating boot? It's hard to even put my foot into the boot, as bending the toes really hurts. I have to adjust the laces, so they are not too tight. And it takes awhile, but I am able to skate. Motrin really helps with the pain and inflammation. But wondering if any type of gel pad or something else might help? I had to switch to wide width sneakers, cause anything tight causes pain.

    I'd appreciate any advice you can offer. Thank you!!!
  2. hanca

    hanca Well-Known Member

    I can't advise you what to do about the pain because as far as I know, there is nothing except of painkillers that can be done about pain. But you can change the skating boots. I used to have Edeas as my first skates and they did not fit correctly and gave me bunions too. (Everyone was complaining about painful boots and I was not very experienced so I thought it was normal when my boots were hurting even after they were supposed to be broken in). After about a year I eventually swapped the boots, ordered custom made to accommodate my bunions and never looked back. Now I am careful when ordering normal shoes so that they are not too narrow, and recently when I needed ice dance boots, I found out that some brands are wider than others, more accommodating in the toe area, so even if you can't afford custom made, at least change the brand for more suitable to the shape of your feet.
  3. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    There are a wide variety of gel pads that dancers use just to combat bunion pain in pointe shoes. Check out discountdance.com and see if one might work.

    Have you had your boots punched out yet? Making more room specifically at the bunion should help. I've actually seen one coach who has a slash cut into the side of his boot- but I don't think I'd recommend that if you are actively skating.

    It is also probably none of my business, but ice skating without health insurance seems like a ticking time bomb to me. I know I've had a pretty spectacular ER bill from a bad fall, and quite a number of doctor/PT bills for skating related injuries.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  4. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    I've considered the gel pads, but if your boots are professionally fitted to your foot WITHOUT pads/bunions, you might need new boots first. I need mine punched out more as they're KILLING me. I think my foot's gotten wider/bunion's gotten worse from Latin sandals.

    I do have insurance, but I don't want to deal with all the time off the foot bunion surgery requires.
  5. Ice Queen

    Ice Queen Member

    Thank you for your advice, I should have mentioned my boot situation. I have older custom Harlicks that I love!! And a few years back purchased SP Terri's brand new. But, I never really got them broken in, since I don't get to the rink too often. I do very basic moves on the ice, not a jumper any more and love to do edge work, spins and spread eagles. When I was skating more often, I'd start off with the Harlicks as do all my fav moves. Then switch to the SP Terri's and do edge work and spins. I've had them heated a few times, and they feel good, just stiff. I took months off of skating, cause I lost interest, plus the long drive. I just recently got back into it, and have just used the Harlicks. Once I am skating for awhile, the boots feel just fine. But, after wards is when it hurts. The bottom line is, the bunion is just getting larger and causing me problems even if I don't skate. My Dad who passed away, had the same problem and he did have the boot punched out...so I will inquire at the rink about that.

    And I know not having health insurance is a risk, but I simply cannot afford it. Thank you again, for all of your great advice.
  6. smileyskate

    smileyskate Active Member

    One of the doctor shows had a lady who had a newer bunion surgery with much less time off of the feet but it looked like they leave a wire to pull the bunion back a bit more into alignment. I have also heard that bunions can return after surgery and that many docs do not advise surgery. Get the boots/shoes punched out as soon as possible and use the pads if they don't make the problem any worse size and painwise in the toe box. There are certain splints and orthotics available even over the counter. Don't let it go and get worse if it is causing you pain and especially if pushing the next toe over.
    If you want to view some surgeries, they have some on youtube. A better solution needs to be found. There is one Asian doc who is shown fixing it via electricity however I don't know if that holds up or anything.
  7. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    There are gel pads for skate boots that can help, and you can also use moleskin to cushion the area. Example here: http://www.sincityskates.com/bungapads_bunion.aspx

    If your skates are heat moldable, and you haven't worn them in a bit, have them re-molded to fit your "new" foot. If you decide to wear a pad in there for the bunion, make sure you wear it for the molding process, so you have enough room in the skate for it. In addition, you may also want to have that area punched out, as others have mentioned. My current skates I was good with just the heat molding, but my old ones needed major punching out in that area, so don't be shy about having your skates adjusted as you need them to be.

    You mentioned thinking you'd need to see an ortho. Have you seen a podiatrist? I know you can't afford surgery (and others here have mentioned that surgery on this area has its drawbacks, and some docs do not recommend it) because you don't have insurance, but if you can afford to see a podiatrist, he can talk to you about the cost of custom orthotics, or what types of over-the-counter orthotics/splints may help you be more comfortable when you walk.

    If you decide to see a podiatrist or other doc for this, know that you can negotiate their rate. You can, at least, ask them to give you the "negotiated rate" he gives to patients who do have, say... Aetna.
  8. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    I wanted to add that my dad wears Teyva hiking sandals a lot, in addition to wide width (New Balance) sneakers, and finds them comfortable with his bunions. The Teyvas don't cause pressure. The front adjusts, and that helps. Might be worth a shot: http://www.teva.com/hiking-sandals-women/women-sandals-hiking,default,sc.html