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.