Nail Clinic: Bunions (page 2)

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Remedies for bunions range from mere habit changes to surgery. ACFAS recommends the following noninvasive treatments for those who suffer from bunions:

  • Changes in footwear—wear shoes with a wide foot box
  • Padding placed over the bunion
  • Activity modifications, such as not standing for long periods
  • Medications (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen)
  • Applying an ice pack to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Injection therapy to treat inflammation in the joint
  • Orthotic devices

However, these do not cure the problem. “All of these measures simply decrease the pain symptoms, and do not address the deformity itself,” notes Dinh. Surgery, on the other hand, tackles the problem directly through a procedure that cuts away the bone to remodel its structure. “Whether to perform surgery depends on the severity of the problem,” continues Dinh. “Most procedures will work for the long-term, but the return of a bunion is a risk, especially in younger individuals.”

Tech Intervention.
If your client suffers from bunions, this is a great opportunity for you to provide your own brand of TLC. Besides educating your client about the possible pain-alleviating solutions mentioned above, you can actually help diminish some of the discomfort associated with the condition. “A nail professional can proceed with massage or soft tissue work without problems,” says Frey. “Many clients will benefit from this when they have a bunion.” However, some clients might experience discomfort from massage, so work gently and make sure to ask your client if your technique or pressure needs adjustment.
Recently there have been reports that pedicure sandals with built-in toe separators can help clients with bunions. “These can temporarily realign the joints and decrease pain symptoms, though they don’t correct the problem,” Dinh says. “They can make clients feel better for the short-term.” If your client suffers from bunions, suggest that she invest in a pair so her feet can get some temporary relief.
Bunions are bound to crop up at your station—in fact, they’re likely already a commonplace condition in your salon. As always, asking questions and using your powers of observation can help you cater to every client’s needs to the best of your ability. After all, with so many women affected by this problem, it makes sense to let your clients know the facts—and then come to their aid by providing that tender touch nail techs are known for!

Tracy Morin is a freelance writer and editor based in Oxford, MS.