Posted By Robyn Hughes, ND

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June 01 2016
Mary Wright

I am considering surgery for a moderate to severe bunion. The bunion has caused the three toes next to it to become hammertoes. My grandmother and mother had severe bunions. I REALLY do not want to have the surgery, but at this point the pain on the ball of my foot is having too much of an effect on my everyday life. I have had shots and two sets of orthotics and have always worn birkenstocks, so is it possible to treat this naturally? Or is surgery the best option in this case? I have a chiropractor that would be willing to work with me and help me get the toes back in alignment. So, can a natural approach work for this severe a problem?

June 01 2016
Natural Footgear

Greetings, Mary,

Thank you for your message. I appreciate you reaching out, and I’m sorry to hear that you are experiencing bunion- and hammertoe-related pain. I certainly do appreciate your desire to find alternatives to surgery. My first recommendation is to watch this video about conventional vs. natural approaches to bunions:

My second suggestion is to try incorporating Correct Toes ( into your regular foot care routine. Not only does the device help to reverse the effects of bunions, it can also help restore balance, circulation, and overall foot health. Also, you might consider trying out some stretching techniques like the Big Toe Stretch ( to gently guide your toes back into alignment and ease the tension and pain caused by the bunion and conventional footwear.

Third, you might consider seeking out foot-healthy shoes and sandals ( that allow your toes to splay the way nature intended.

In terms of hammertoes (and how to address them using noninvasive methods), the use of metatarsal pads ( in combination with Correct Toes can help rebalance the pull of the toe flexor and extensor tendons and aid in toe rehabilitation. For more information on conventional vs. natural approaches to hammertoes, you can watch this video:

We offer free online courses that cover both bunions and hammertoes, and you can sign up for those courses here:

And finally, even if you opt to go through with surgery, not all hope is lost. Check out this article for more info about how to restore foot health after surgery:

Wishing you all the best in foot health,
Laura Trentman

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