Are you suffering from the pain of bunions? Bunions are a very common issue, and there are many ways, over and above surgery, that can help ease the pain of this common foot issue.
So what really are bunions and what causes them? A bunion or 'hallux valgus' is a deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe, and is most often described as an enlargement of bone or tissue around the joint at the head of the big toe. The actual bump on your foot is partly due to the swollen bursal sac or an osseous (bony) anomaly on the metatarsophalangeal joint. The larger part of the bump is a normal part of the head of the first metatarsal bone that has tilted sideways to stick out at its top.
For years, the cause of bunions has been debated. Many believe the primary cause by long-term use of ill-fitting shoes, in particular that are too tight or those that are two pointed in the toe area. This is more common among females between the ages of 20-60. Other believe the cause of them stem from genetic factors that are further aggravated by wrong shoe use. This is more common among adolescents or young adults with a family history of bunions.
What are some early signs or symptoms? There are several early signs or symptoms of bunions. These include: pain when walking, irritated skin and blisters around the joint at the base of the big toe, joint redness and pain, as well as a possible move of the big toe toward the other toes.
How can you get some pain relief from bunions? Below are some simple ways to reduce potential pain with bunions.
- Wear well-fitting shoes that have good room around the toe. When you are buying new shoes, ensure you measure your feet and buy the right size that will give you a good fit with room around the toe.
- Avoid all together or reduce the frequency of wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes with pointed toes.
- Purchase over the counter remedies such as small pads/bandages to place over the bunion. Ask the pharmacist at your local drug store for guidance on the product that will work best for you.
- Exercise your feet! Try foot exercises designed for bunions.
- Take pain-relief medicines such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen to help with the pain. Ensure you take the medicines according to the directions, or ask the pharmacist at your local drug store for guidance.
- Rest your feet as much as you can. Additionally, icing them can help with swelling and the pain.
If you are suffering from severe bunions, there are other options to help with the pain or remove them entirely. Different orthotics such as bunion/toe separators, gelled inserts or bunion cushions can help with pain. If further correction of bunions is desired, or pain increases, you can consult an orthopaedic surgeon to discuss surgery options.
If you are suffering from sever bunions, please feel free to contact our office for a consultation.