4. August 2011 04:22
We have looked at the top ten ways to keep your feet healthy. Today I will describe another ailment that can cause long-term pain and discomfort: bunions. People often live with this problem when there are ways to treat it.
Bunions are caused when the great toe joints are misaligned. This area can become swollen and tender. The deformity causes the first joint of the big toe to slant outward and the big toe to angle toward the other toes. Bunions tend to run in families, but the tendency can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toe. There are conservative and preventive steps that can minimize the discomfort of a bunion, but surgery is frequently recommended to correct the problem. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the bunion and amount of pain experienced. Nonsurgical treatments that may relieve pain and pressure of a bunion include:
- Changing shoes. Wear roomy, comfortable shoes that provide plenty of space for your toes.
- Padding and taping. Your doctor can help you tape and pad your foot in a normal position. This can reduce stress on the bunion and alleviate your pain.
- Medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or naproxen (Aleve) may help control the pain of a bunion. Cortisone injections can also be helpful.
- Shoe Inserts. Padded shoe inserts can help distribute pressure evenly when you move your feet, reducing your symptoms and preventing your bunion from getting worse. Over-the-counter arch supports can provide relief for some people though others may require prescription orthotic devices.
If these treatments do not work:
If conservative treatment doesn’t provide relief from your symptoms, you may need surgery. A number of surgical procedures are performed for bunions, and no particular surgery is best for every problem. Knowing what caused your bunion is essential for choosing the best procedure to ensure correction without recurrence. Surgery is not recommended unless a bunion causes frequent pain and interferes with daily activity. Consider trying conservative treatment before having a bunionectomy.
Remember your feet have to last a lifetime so take the best care of them that you can! If you have found a specific treatment that has helped relieve your bunion discomfort, please share with us!