The term for bunions—those painful lumps created when your toes move out of place—is derived from the Old French word buigne, or “bump on the head.” This word refers to a bone deformity at the big toe, or “head” of your foot: the sensitive recipient of all that pressure, rubbing, and shifting each time you take a step.
Luckily, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent bunions from developing (or from getting bigger, if you already have them).
Foot doctors recommend stretching and resistance exercises for your big toes. These exercises include toe curls, toe flexes, and picking up marbles with your toes. With regular repetition, toe exercises can prevent stiffness and maintain the mobility of your joints. They’re also beneficial for other common toe problems such as hammertoes.
Shoe liners—often made from felt material—are great for minimizing the friction created by rubbing shoes. They come in different shapes and thicknesses, ranging from rigid (for walking or dress shoes) to very soft (for soreness and shock-absorption). Orthotic devices also keep your foot in the correct position to prevent joint pain and misalignment. Of course, it always helps to wear properly fitted corrective and prescription shoes that provide enough room for bunions and prevent their further growth.
Your podiatrist can also recommend a variety of corrective splints for both daytime and nighttime wear. While most splints consist of a soft wrap that isolates the big toe from the rest of your foot, bunion patients have reported additional success with toe spreaders and spacers. These tools provide a nice stretch for your toes while preventing your big toes from turning inward.
Removal of Corns and Calluses
An intensive pedicure keeps the skin of your feet looking and—most importantly—feeling its best. Removing corns and calluses prevents additional build-up, which in turn keeps your shoes from rubbing and irritating your toes. A gentle foot massage with cream or lotion can also help to relieve the tension of your aching feet.
In severe or ongoing cases, bunion surgery is recommended for the health and fitness of your feet. At Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, our highly qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best medical care for your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!