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Fix the Ugly Bunions!

Ugly Bunions Fixed!

If you experience pain when you walk, if you notice that your feet are being increasingly misshapen, and you notice your big toe taking on a whole new look. You may be suffering from bunions.

What are bunions?

A bunion is a large bump on the side of your big toe that is actually an abnormality of the foot bones, causing your big toe to lean in toward your second toe. In some cases, this large bump is painless, but for others, the pain of this skeletal shift is too much to live with.

What causes this condition?

Some people think that a bunion deformity is a genetic condition. Other things that contribute to foot pain and deformity include flat feet, abnormal bone structure, and ligaments that are excessively flexible.

As a bunion develops, it becomes worse over time. Some contributing factors to their development include:

  • Shoes that are too small or too tight, causing pressure on toes and your arch
  • Shoes that have high heels or pointy toes, forcing those toes together
  • Standing for an extended period of time
  • Arthritic conditions in the feet and ankles

Symptoms:

Symptoms of a bunion are varied, and the level of discomfort a person experiences can also vary. Some common signs of their development include:

  • Skin that is red and inflamed along the big toe
  • Your big toe that turns in toward your other toes
  • Thick skin and calluses present on the first two toes
  • Persistent foot pain
  • Difficulty moving your toes

If you are experiencing pain that makes it difficult to stand or walk, see your podiatrist for recommendations on how to deal with and manage pain.

How does a foot doctor diagnose pain?

Most times, a foot doctor can diagnose a bunion with a visual inspection. He may ask you to move your toe back and forth to see what your range of motion is like. An x-ray may be necessary to determine the severity of the deformity and to pinpoint the cause of its development. Blood tests may be ordered to determine whether arthritis is a cause as well. Knowing more about the cause and the severity of its condition will help determine the best course of action and treatment to bring comfort and mobility back to the foot again.

Treating a bunion by a podiatrist–what are my options?

A bunion is an unsightly condition that alters the appearance of the feet; in most cases, a mild condition can be corrected without surgical intervention, and surgical procedures have advanced much in recent years, reducing the need for recovery time and pharmaceutical pain management.

Non-surgical treatment:

For those with conditions that do not affect mobility or bring pain to the patient, a number of interventions exist for management. For example:

1. Wearing the right shoes is key. Padded soles, arch support, and room for your toes will be essential to ensure that the condition does not worsen.

2. Have your podiatrist tape or bind your toe into position for extra support. It will place your foot in the best possible position and take pressure off your toe joints.

3. You may take over the counter medication to manage pain and discomfort from misalignment. Be advised, taking any type of pain reliever long term can have risks to your health; talk to your doctor before making this part of your treatment protocol.

4. Wear shoe supports and cushions in your footwear, if possible. Keeping that proper alignment even while you are wearing shoes will be essential to managing any discomfort.

Surgical options for care:

If symptoms persist or worsen over time, it may be necessary to undergo surgery to manage and correct your bunion pain. A bunionectomy includes:

  • Removing swollen tissues within and around the swollen joints
  • Correct the position of the big toe and putting it in proper position for healing

For a full recovery to take place, one needs at least eight weeks of rest and proper alignment for it to be fully effective. While you will be able to walk almost immediately after the procedure, you may need to take it easy with regard to other activities that are considered more strenuous.

How do I maintain healthy feet?

Although some medical experts believe that bunion development is largely hereditary, there are some things that you can do to reduce the likelihood of their development. Follow these tips for healthy, happy feet:

Wear the right shoes!

The best shoes for healthy feet have plenty of support across the arch, have a wide toe box and a heel lower than two inches. If you do wish to wear high heels, avoid styles that pinch your toes together, and refrain from wearing them daily.

Shop for shoes in the evening

Believe it or not, your feet are at least a full size bigger in the evening. Shoes should be comfortable the moment you put them on; you should not need to break them in. Your podiatrist can measure your foot and recommend an ideal size for you; take this advice and proactively protect those feet with long term use and mobility in mind.

Maintain a healthy weight

Nothing puts more stress on the feet than extra weight. Maintaining a healthy weight will ensure that your feet do not have to endure more pressure than they were intended to. If you do experience foot pain, do what you can to take a break and pamper yourself with a relaxing foot soak, a foot massage, or other self-care techniques designed for foot health.

You don’t have to “live with bunions”

Living with bunion pain is not only inconvenient, it can be downright painful. Taking precautions to deal with bunion pain and misalignment will ensure that you can remain mobile and pain-free for years to come.