A bunion is a deformity of the big toe that occurs when force and pressure from wearing shoes push the big toe into the other toes. A similar condition called a bunionette affects the little toe. It is thought that shoes are a significant factor in bunion formation because, in the few remaining cultures where shoes are not worn, bunions do not occur.
If you have poorly treated flat feet, you are more susceptible to developing toe deformities like bunions and hammertoes. When your arches are not properly supporting the tendons in your toes, they do not properly function and imbalances can occur causing these problems. Wearing shoes like high heels that force the toes together is also a contributing factor in bunion formation.
Some excellent methods for treating painful bunions include the following:
- Wear properly fitted shoes with custom orthotic devices—Wear shoes with a wide toe box to help prevent the bunion from rubbing on your shoes and from preventing blisters and corns from developing. Orthotic inserts can help straighten the toe and redirect pressure.
- Insulating pads—Pads can be applied to decrease rubbing and reduce swelling and redness.
- Strength and flexibility exercises—Picking up marbles with your toes is an excellent exercise for increasing flexibility and strength.
- Reduce inflammation—Medications like ibuprofen and Tylenol along with icing are great for reducing swelling and pain.
When bunion pain persists after trying these methods, surgery may be required to shave the bunion bump and straighten the toe.
If you are experiencing painful bunions, enlisting the services of a skilled podiatrist will help you find the best solution for your particular situation. Schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry Center in New Albany, IN. Our highly-qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!