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Martin Foot & Ankle

Can Athletic Shoes Worsen Juvenile Bunions?

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Preventing juvenile bunionsIt’s hard to slow down a child with athletic ambitions, and how often does one really want to? If your daughter or son happens to have developed juvenile bunions, however, it may be a natural concern over whether sports and footwear can be contributing toward the problem.

The good news is that juvenile bunions tend to be much more flexible than bunions in adulthood, which makes moving an easier feat. However, it’s still important to avoid factors that can make bunions worse at this stage, especially since feet are still growing and developing.

Make sure your child’s athletic shoes properly fit and have a wide toe box that doesn’t irritate his or her bunion. Any problems with gait such as foot rolling (e.g. overpronation), should also be addressed through the shoe, either by finding one with proper support or using custom orthotic inserts made specifically for your child’s foot shape. Yes, they work in sports shoes!

There are some additional techniques that can help a sporting child manage his or her bunions, including stretching and taping. The most important thing to remember is that, while people engage in sports and physical activity all the time with bunions, that doesn’t mean any pain or problems from them should be ignored during activity. Those issues need to be addressed to help prevent progressively worse problems down the road.

For help determining the best ways your child can manage their juvenile bunions, call the doctors at Martin Foot and Ankle at (717) 757-3537. Our offices in Hanover, Lancaster, Lititz, and York, PA are open to new patients.
Dr. Jennifer Mulhern
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