Do Bunions Affect Balance

I have a client with a bunion on each of her big toe joints. She asked me if this will affect her balance in yoga postures?

The bad news, I told her, is that yes, I’m afraid it will and here’s the reason why.

Your big toe is hugely influential in helping to direct the force of the weight of your body through the remaining surface area of the foot. When we stand it is the first 3 toes and their respective foot bones that will be taking the majority of the weight, so we want to be able to spread as much as possible through this section. When you have a bunion on one or both feet, the force that would ordinarily be spread through the surface area of this section of the foot gets pushed over to the less stable outer side of the foot meaning that you are unable to use the surface area of the big toe for the purpose of managing bodyweight. You are essentially a toe short, although if you look at the size of your big toe in comparison with the next two toes and you will see that it is up to 3 times the size which means that you are actually the equivalent of almost 3 toes short! This results in a struggle to balance without the aid of a wall. Remember, a wall is a prop and a useful one at that when it comes to bunions and balancing postures!