Posts for tag: Bunions
A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.
A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.
The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:
- Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
- Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
- Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
- Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition
For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.
When should someone consider bunion surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:
- Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
- Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
- You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
- Your bunion is affecting your quality of life
It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.
What is a Bunion?
What Causes Bunions?
How a Podiatrist Can Help
Prevention is Key
Prevention is Key
What if I Already Have a Bunion?
Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)
- Flat feet
- High-arched feet
- Inward roll of your feet when walking
- Icing your heels
- Steroid shots
- Surgery (for severe cases)
- A bulging bump on the outside of your big or pinky toe
- Pain at the site of the bunion
- Trouble moving your big or pinky toe
- Corns and calluses from overlapping toes
One of the most common foot problems we see is bunions, which also referred to as Hallux Valgus. The bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. The bone, which protrudes towards the inside of the foot, can sometimes push the big toe under or over the second toe.
Although bunions are a common foot deformity, there are many misconceptions about them. People may even go about their lives not realizing they have a bunion, because it does not initially cause pain. Bunions are a progressive disorder in which the bump becomes increasingly prominent. Symptoms usually appear at later stages, but some people may not exhibit any.
Treating Your Bunion: Tips from Your Podiatrist
Since bunions are bone deformities, they do not resolve by themselves. The first goal of bunion treatment is to relieve the pressure and pain that is caused by irritations, while the second is to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement. Some common methods used for treating your bunion and reducing pressure include:
- Protective padding to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
- Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
- Carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth.
- Orthotic devices to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
- Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
- Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly.
When early treatments fail, or your bunion begins to worsen over time, a consultation with your podiatrist will be needed. Depending on the size of the enlargement and pain, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. It is important to not ignore foot pain, as it can worsen over time. Protect your feet and seek treatment immediately.