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3/3/2012 8:13:34 AM - Ismail
Hi Shaun,

I practice taekwondo and judo. Thank you for your time in advance because of the lengthy question :)

During a really intense randori session with lots of ground work ~2 years ago I banged up my big toes (both) pretty bad. I didn't feel anything till the next day when I woke up. I couldn't really bend the toes and put pressure on the ball of my feet. After some weeks I could run again and practice taekwondo. But to top it off I hurt them again badly during a warm-up game...

Since then the socket of both joints is bigger, looks like swollen, and the big toes look ~15° degrees inward. I had to stopp judo and can't properly spar during taekwondo in fear of hurting it again. End of last year I said screw it and fought for 2 rounds...afterwards I couldn't train for 2 weeks although there was no trauma involved. The fast movements of a fight were enough...

My question is did you deal with such a "injury"? Is there something to help me besides ice and ibuprofen? My doc just told me do not over stress the joint...


Well Ismail, I think that what you're dealing with are bunions. That is when your big toe slightly misalignes itself a bit to point toward your second toe, accompanied with swelling, inflammation and pain in that joint of the toe. Usually women get them, but they are also common in athletes, especially on the mat or runners, etc.

There can be genetic predisposition, especially if you are flat footed. My wife was actually a badass D1 All American Gymnast. She broke both her big toes, numerous times, sticking landings off things like the vault and uneven bars. By her senior year, she had gotten a few cortisone shots in the joint to get through. She said that after the cortisone shot, she felt zero pain there. However, that isn't necessarily good for the joint either.

I see a lot of fighters/grapplers with bunions. Look at Randy Couture's feet in any pics. Shit, look at his entire legs! He's war torn with bunions, variclose veins, the works. Its not too uncommon.

I would try to spend more time barefoot, or get those barefoot shoe thingies. Those are supposed to help. You know, the shoes with the toes in them, sorry I forget what they're called lol. I think that within time, you'll be able to train more on them. You just have to sort of deal with the pain. Or, if its really bad, there is a corrective surgery for it that is supposed to really help.

Just don't stub your toe! That is the worst when you have a bunion. Itll send a shock wave right up to your head. Hopefully you can get back in there soon my friend.

good luck to ya,
Shaun Mirjavadi

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