Posts for tag: Bunions
A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.
A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.
The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:
- Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
- Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
- Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
- Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition
For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.
When should someone consider bunion surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:
- Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
- Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
- You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
- Your bunion is affecting your quality of life
It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.
As common as bunions are, it is difficult for patients to get used to them. If you are dealing with the discomfort that comes with bunions, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from podiatrist Dr. Esther Barnes at Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Clinic in Kalispell, MT. Successful treatment for bunions requires time, patience, and a customized plan that’s tailored to your specific case.
Dealing with Bunions
Bunions change your feet: the way they look, feel, and fit in shoes. They affect the way that you walk and how you regard the visual appeal of your feet and toes. They cause the toes to push and pinch against each other, and eventually overlap. Some patients live with bunions for years without pain, but that can change with time—especially since the joints in the feet and toes are affected. The skin can become irritated and calluses may form. Even if pain isn’t present, the embarrassment of this foot deformity is enough to prompt patients to seek treatment.
Is There a Cure for Bunions?
Bunions can be corrected with the help of your Kalispell, MT podiatrist and a dedicated treatment plan. These are some of the most reliable ways to fix bunions:
- Padding made of felt to guard the feet when wearing shoes and prevent friction
- Pads placed between the toes to help restore alignment
- Corn or callus removal
- Wearing orthotics that encourage the bone and joint to realign
- Physical therapy and special exercises
- Night splinting
- Bunionectomy (surgery to eliminate bunions)
Bunions do not form overnight, they develop over a course of time and due to certain behaviors, habits, and activities. After your feet are restored, observe these prevention tips to increase your chance of avoiding this foot problem in the future:
- Get more comfortable shoes that don’t put too much pressure on your toes
- Stretch your feet and toes regularly, especially when resting
- Protect your bone health by eating calcium rich foods
- See your podiatrist at the first signs of foot pain or a change in the general form of your feet
Quality Care for Your Feet
It’s not normal to live with your feet deformed and painful because of bunions. Seek treatment from podiatrist Dr. Esther Barnes at Step Ahead Foot & Clinic, in Kalispell, MT. Call 406-755-2818 today to schedule a foot examination with Dr. Esther Barnes.
What is a Bunion?
What Causes Bunions?
How a Podiatrist Can Help
Prevention is Key
A bunion is an abnormal, bony prominence that develops on the joint at the base of your big toe. As the big toe joint becomes enlarged, it forces the toe to crowd against your other toes, and the pressure exerted on your big toe joint results in inflammation and pain. Early treatment is necessary to decrease the risk of developing joint deformities.
Bunions develop due to prolonged abnormal pressure or motion on your big toe joint, most often caused by inherited structural defects, poor-fitting shoes, foot injuries, or congenital deformities. Women are generally more prone to bunions because of the shoe types typically worn, such as high-heels and narrow-toed shoes.
Bunion pain can range from mild to severe, often making it difficult to wear shoes and perform normal activities. You should contact our office if you notice the following symptoms:
- An enlarged, visible bulge on your big toe joint
- Restricted movement of your big toe or foot that prevents you from performing normal activities
- Irritation, corns or calluses caused by the overlap of the first and second toes
- Frequent pain, swelling or redness around your big toe joint
Treatment For a Bunion
Treatment for a bunion will vary depending on its severity. Identifying the condition in its early stages is important to avoid surgery, with the main objective of early treatment being to relieve pressure and stop the progression of the deformity. Many times conservative treatments, such as padding, modified footwear or orthotic devices can be highly effective for preventing further growth and reducing the pressure and pain.
We recommend the following for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions:
- Wear comfortable shoes that don't cramp or irritate your toes and avoid high-heeled shoes
- Apply ice to reduce inflammation and pain
- Our podiatrists can show you how to apply padding to your foot to place it in its normal position and reduce stress on the bunion
When early treatments fail or the persistent pain associated with your bunion is interfering with your daily activities, a surgical procedure may be recommended as a last resort to realign the toe joint and alleviate the pressure. We can advise you on the best treatment options available to relieve pressure on the bunion and slow the progression of the joint deformity.
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