Bunions develop when the bone at the base of your big toe pushes outward, and your big toe juts inward toward the other toes. The resulting bump is cosmetically unattractive and potentially painful since the big toe carries a lot of your weight when you walk.
Surgery is sometimes required to ease bunion pain and dysfunction. Over time, bunions can lead to foot problems like hammertoe, bursitis, or pain in the balls of your feet. In these cases, the podiatric team at Go Feet can help. In the meanwhile, here’s how they suggest you ease bunion pain and slow progression of the condition.
Change your shoes
Even though high heels don’t cause bunions, they sure do aggravate them. Choose low-heeled, comfortable shoes with a wide toe box.
Protect your bunion
Apply moleskin or a gel-filled pad to the site of your bunion. You can easily find these items over-the-counter at your local drugstore.
Explore shoe inserts
At Go Feet, we may recommend customized orthotics, or shoe inserts, to help position your foot properly. Over-the-counter options are available, but customized versions made specifically for you by the Go Feet podiatry team are superior.
Use a night splint
In more advanced bunion cases, the team at Go Feet may provide you with a night splint that holds the affected toe straight. This can reduce discomfort, stiffness, and swelling.
Achieve a healthy weight
If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight can be helpful in alleviating bunion pain.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen sodium are helpful in reducing bunion pain. We here at Go Feet may also recommend cortisone injections to minimize inflammation and pain.
Ice your feet
Using an ice pack on your bunion can relieve soreness and swelling. Remember to never apply a cold pack or ice directly to bare skin — always wrap in a towel when icing. If you have circulation problems, check with your Go Feet dedicated provider before applying ice.
Ask about ultrasound
Ultrasound therapy uses soundwaves to soothe bunion pain. The providers at Go Feet often apply this treatment with much success.
Surgery is sometimes the best treatment
When these conservative approaches are unsuccessful in resolving bunion pain, surgery may be the best option. This is especially true if the Go Feet team is concerned your bunions will lead to other foot complications.
The goal of surgery is to return the big toe to its proper position and relieve pain and dysfunction. Many types of bunion surgery are available, and the one that’s right for you depends on the severity of your case and the particular deformity. Ultimately, though, surgery puts your toe bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves back into the correct order. They also remove the noticeable bump.
Don’t just shy away from surgery because you’re concerned about a long recovery. Innovations in medical techniques mean that often you’re able to be up and about and use your treated foot within days of a bunion procedure. Full recovery will still take weeks, but the results are worth it.
If you have bunion pain that’s interfering with your day-to-day activities, it’s time to come see the experts at Go Feet. Even if you have a bunion that’s just beginning, start care now to slow its progression.
Call one of the offices in Mays Landing, or Linwood, New Jersey, or use the online tool to make an appointment.