Battling Bunions: How to Treat and Prevent Bunions
Bunions can be unattractive and uncomfortable when they develop on your feet. Bunions develop as unnatural, bony humps typically at the base of the big toe. They form when the big toe pushes outward on the bone directly behind it, known as the first metatarsal, causing pressure. It can cause extreme discomfort due to its location near a joint which takes a lot of your body weight when walking.
How Can You Prevent Bunions?
There are some ways you can avoid developing bunions but unfortunately, some people are more prone to developing them than others. It may run in your family, be caused by foot structure, or be accompanied by arthritis. Take these steps to avoid bunion formation:
- Exercise Your Feet – Try to keep your feet dextrous and pick up small objects with your toes. Keeping them strong and flexible will help avoid problems.
- Track Changes – Bunions develop slowly and usually begin to form in early adulthood. Keeping an eye on any changes will help you identify any areas of your foot that are at risk, so you can recognize and treat changes as they occur.
- Choose Good Footwear – Avoid shoes that pinch or crowd your toes. Choose comfortable and supportive footwear, especially when walking or standing for long periods of time. Women in particular should avoid high heels or shoes with pointed toes.
- Wear Custom-Made Foot Orthotics – This will be discussed in greater detail in the next section.
How Can You Treat Bunions?
If you have never worn or purchased custom-made foot orthotics before, it can seem like all options are made equal. If you find yourself being offered orthotics in the following situations, avoid buying:
- Over the Counter Medication – If your bunion is accompanied by discomfort or pain, your doctor may advise taking a pain relieving medication to reduce swelling and inflammation. Applying heat and soaking in a warm foot bath may help or you may also find that an ice pack provides some relief.
- Better Shoes – If the bunion is visible but not painful and you catch it soon enough in its development, changing your footwear to a more comfortable and supportive option may be the solution.
- Custom Orthotics – If proper shoes don’t bring you enough relief, special bunion pads, splints or other shoe inserts such as custom-made foot orthotics may be recommended. The Foot Clinic provides custom-made foot orthotics for people in Richmond Hill, North York, and throughout Toronto so you can get relief from bunions and will fit most shoes that you want to wear. These special orthotics help to relieve and disperse pressure on the foot. In addition, custom-made foot orthotics will support, stabilize and control your feet. This will help prevent the bunions from worsening.
- Surgery – For bunions that have been allowed to develop without intervention, they may progress to a point where surgery is necessary. Surgery should only be considered if you find yourself in constant pain or when you wear certain shoes, you have difficulty finding shoes that don’t cause pain or for cosmetic reasons because you are unhappy at the appearance of your feet. Surgery always has risks and may cause complications, so it is not advised as a primary treatment option and should be considered very seriously.
Want relief from bunions or chronic foot pain? Visit the foot care specialists in Toronto at the Foot Clinic. We offer a range of treatment options and can give you relief from your foot problems, whether you have identified a bunion or have an unknown source of foot pain. Our years of experience and team of friendly chiropodists will have you walking around pain-free with a proper and thorough treatment plan for your condition.