Bunions are prominent bumps that jut out of the base of your big toe. To understand why you have bunion pain, we need to talk about how they happen and ways you can deal with the pain. Once a bunion is forming, jumping to surgery isn’t always the best option. From cause to simple ways to treating it yourself, here is some useful information about bunions.
How Bunions Happen
These bumps form at the bottom joint of the big toe. Bone or tissue is moved out of place and over the years, the abnormal pressure and motion of walking forces the toe to bend toward the other toes. This causes the stereotypical bump on the side of the foot. It is very painful, especially when walking because of the weight being placed on the area. It all depends on the structure of your legs, feet, and ankles.
The biggest factor for getting bunions is genetics. If others in your family have them, you have a good chance of getting them too. Other big contributors are how you walk and even the shoes you choose to wear. It is also interesting to note that women get them much more than men and the older you are, the more likely you are to get them because of difficulty with arthritis or stiff joints.
Easing the Pain of Bunions
The only way to remove a bunion is through surgery, but there are things you can do to help relieve pain with helpful treatments, extra support, and buying shoes that fit properly.
First, use anti-inflammatory medicine, such as ibuprofen. If the area is bothering you from rubbing inside your shoes, you can protect the area by using moleskin or gel-filled pads on the area. You can find these things at almost any drugstore. Alternating the use of warm and cold on the area is also helpful for relieving pain. Soak your feet in warm water or wrap them in hot towels to get them warm. Use ice packs to cool them down. Consider getting a foot massage or a whirlpool to soak your feet too.
Get extra support.
Shoe inserts can help keep your foot positioned correctly while wearing shoes. Splints you can wear to bed are also available. These can help keep the toe straight and get rid of some of the discomfort you experience during the day. Wearing devices like bunion splints or toe spacers can help during the day to help, but they will not do anything other than preventing pain at that moment. Shoe inserts can also help to step correctly.
Buy proper fitting shoes.
The best thing you can do to help bunion pain is getting properly fitted footwear. Look for wide or open space in the toe area. When trying them on, make sure they are comfortable in the store and don’t crowd your toes at all. If you need help, ask for a foot measurement to ensure you are wearing the right shoe size.
Knowing When to do Surgery
The only way to completely fix bunions is through surgery. If you have felt pain for a year or more, it’s time to consider surgery. Ignoring the problem can lead to other painful foot problems like hammertoes, bursitis, pains in the balls of your feet, or even another bunion on the other side of your foot.
If you have bunions and would like to discuss your options, call us for a consultation. We can help you decide what is the right path for you.