Published on 07-04-2009
"Joe11" - this is their first post.
First up, I'd like to apologise for asking questions with my first post, but I'm desperate for some informed advice.
I have had a smallish sized bunion for over 20 years now, it's only after suffering with prolonged (2 months) symptoms of gout, that for the first time, it has caused real pain. Before this, I regularly walked 5 miles most every day, but alas, not anymore. It's amazing, how something so simple can impact so much.
I was wondering if there is a successful treatment out there for this pain. I appreciate that the disorder is mainly related to bone growth within the joint of the big toe and ultimately requires surgery to remove. But I am loathe to go down that route. If acupuncture could solve the pain issue and give me back the ability to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors, then that would be great.
Thank you in advance for any comments you may leave!
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Acupuncture is a useful treatment for gout if that is not yet resolved. And acupuncture and perhaps gua sha and/or moxibustion will be helpful to a degree for bunions. You are correct in that the healing rate is very low once bunions get established (without surgery), but it does happen. Acupuncture can, however, help symptomatically and there are cases of resolution, particularly when caught in the early stages.
Bunions in Chinese Medicine are related to underlying spleen deficiencies and, most often, sugar issues. The use of moxibustion at SP 2, SP 3 and in the areas of most pain will be helpful as a home treatment (your practitioner can explain this) - and some get good results from adding an external herbal formula "Zheng Gu Shui", or "rectify bones liquid" which you can purchase online via many retailers. For practitioners they will use the points listed above and others to resolve dampness, relieve inflammation in the local area and tonify the spleen. If you see a acupuncturist they will likely use needles and moxibustion and may also use tuina (medical massage), cupping or gua sha (similar to cupping, but using a scraping device to promote circulation instead of a cup, better in small areas or around joints) to promote the circulation in the area.
While bunions can be recalcitrant, if it is going to help you, you should notice a positive change at the very least within 5-7 treatments.
Thank you very much for your response. I am now a little more upbeat with regard to some form of improvement, without the need for surgery.
The basic cause of the bony deformity that causes bunions is a muscle imbalance that causes medial displacement of the head of the 1st metatarsal and lateral displacement of the big toe.Does anyone have any experience in correcting this imbalance in the early stage as a prventative measure?
This is certainly one of the causes from a western medical perspective - others would be congenital defects, RA, and trauma. The treatment, however, is generally the same. If you look at the actions of SP 2, SP 3 in particular they are tonification points of the spleen - more so with moxa. Acupuncture treatment will effect the musecle tone both locally and systematically, along with circulation, levels of dampness from a TCM perspective, and gua sha/cupping and/or tuina can correct structural alignments.
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