People who wear tight, poor-fitting shoes and those who suffer from arthritis may find themselves in a constant battle with bunions. Bunions are a bone malformation at the base of the big toe (or, in some cases, the little toe) resulting from the toe being pushed inward against the joint. Bunions are painful and uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a number of bunion treatment options.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions are typically caused by one of four factors:
- Wearing high heels. Did you know women are ten times more likely to develop bunions then men? One of the reasons may be due to wearing high heels. High heels are pointed, narrow and shift the weight of the body forward, forcing toes into the front of the shoe. This forces the bones in the toes to be pushed together unnaturally, which can result in bunions over time.
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes. Shoes that don’t fit properly, namely shoes that are too small or narrow, can also cause bunions. In people who suffer from bunions, when shoes don’t fit well or offer support, the bunion becomes the support, causing pain and discomfort.
- Arthritis. Those who suffer from inflammatory types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are at a greater risk than most for developing bunions.
- Family history. A propensity for bunions can be hereditary. So if bunions run in your family, there’s a chance you may suffer from bunions too.
Bunion Treatment and Prevention
While they can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful, it is important to remember that bunions are fairly common and not dangerous. There are a number of non-surgical bunion treatment options designed to relieve pain and discomfort associated with this ailment. They include:
- Changing your footwear. Tight, poor-fitting shoes put pressure on the toes and can result in bunions or irritate existing bunions. Wear roomy, comfortable shoes to relieve pressure and provide plenty of space for your toes.
- Adding proper support to your shoes. Padded shoe inserts help to evenly distribute pressure as you walk. This can help relieve pain and prevent the bunion from getting worse. Taping and padding your foot is also an option for keeping bones in position and relieving pressure and stress from the bunion area.
- Taking pain relievers. Pain relievers such as Tylenol, Aleve or Advil can help by reducing swelling and relieving pain. In serious cases, cortisone shots can help relieve pain and inflammation caused by bunions.
- Ice packs can relieve inflammation. Ice packs work by decreasing blood flow to the chilled area, thereby reducing inflammation and swelling. Try icing your bunion after a long day to relieve inflammation.
In most cases, surgery isn’t necessary, but rare cases require bunion removal surgery to get the foot back to where it should be. Bunion removal surgery works to realign the bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves in order to bring the big toe back into position.
How do you prevent bunions? Wearing shoes that are not too tight or narrow is a good start. Choose footwear that is wide enough to give your toes room to be comfortable and avoid being on your feet for long periods of time in shoes that irritate your feet. Find out more about bunion treatment and prevention from Minimally Invasive Foot Relief today.