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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Bunionette Help


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Since starting pointe about a year ago, I’ve developed a case of bunionettes (tailor’s bunions) on both feet, which I never had before. Recently they’ve become quite red and inflamed, especially on my left foot, making pointework almost intolerable. I usually just use ouch-pouch juniors, but I’ve tried recently to tape my little toes as well... but that just adds bulk and increases the pressure on the painful spot. My bunionettes don’t bother me in my ballet flats or in street shoes, but they’re incredibly painful in my pointe shoes! I’ve put water on my shoes over the inflamed spot, and softened the wings, but it doesn’t seem to help... Does anyone have any advice on padding? Or experience with a podiatrist in the New York area? All replies and suggestions gratefully accepted...

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Guest kristinene

Sulan, is the pain caused by increased friction with the shoe? Or is it actually the joint which is bothering you? If it is the joint I'd recommend toe spacers - they sell them for in between the smaller toes as well as for the big toe. I use spacers for my bunion and I've found it makes a big difference. If the problem is increaed friction I don't have any suggestions other than the old stand-bys, except maybe try full ouch pouches instead of the jr.'s.


Best of luck!

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Know why they're called tailor's bunions? They used to be an occupational hazard of old-time hand tailors, who would do most of their work squatting on their haunches on a low table. This practice allowed them full access to the customer's fitting points, but placed the weight far out on the outside of the feet. Stress in that area eventually raised bunionettes in many practitioners in the trade, and it got the name. When the tailor would work on long seams, without the customer present, he would sit cross-legged on the table and the rubbing of the outside of the foot against the surface would aggravate the condition.

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I also have quite a case of bunionettes and found shoes with hard wings were killers. After they'd broken in nicely, it would be fine - but up to that point was torture. I also use ouch pouch jr.'s and make sure that it's pulled over the bunionette area fully - if the seam is on the bunionette - yikes! :rolleyes:

The pain was eliminated when I switched to Grishko 2007s and Gaynor Mindens - Capezio Nicolini and Freed Studios were horrendous for me.

It's something to consider... :wink:

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Bunionettes here too. I had them long before I started pointe, though. They might have been a bit smaller then. :wink:


I usually bang the (to-be) outside of the pointe shoes against a something hard a few times, and then just massage the "bunionette point" a bit softer. I try the shoe on from time to time to judge wheter it is enough yet - I do not want my boxes to die any sooner than they do. B)



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