Learn more about bunions and why they happen.
Bunions are often painful foot deformities that cause the joint at the base of the big toe to enlarge. Bunions are progressive conditions, meaning that they will continue to get worse unless your feet are properly cared for. It’s important that you know how to care for your bunions to slow the progression and prevent the need for surgery. Luckily, our Reading, MA, podiatrists at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists are experts on bunions.
What causes bunions?
Certain foot types are prone to developing bunions. Those include flat feet and those with low arches. Foot injuries or trauma may also leave you at an increased risk for bunions. Genetics can also play a role; so, if you have family members with bunions you may be more likely to deal with them at some point, too.
Of course, poorly fitted shoes and shoes with high heels are also more likely to put added pressure on the big toe joint and, over time, may lead to a bunion. If you have certain risk factors it’s even more important that you wear supportive and properly fitted shoes that won’t put added pressure on the joint and increase your risk for this common foot deformity.
How are bunions treated?
When our Reading, MA, podiatrists detect bunions during the earliest stages, conservative care can go a long way to managing bunion symptoms. Treatment options include,
- Icing the bunion 10-15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day to reduce pain and swelling
- Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications
- Resting your feet as much as possible
- Wearing shoes that provide ample support and have a wide toe box
- Getting rid of old shoes that are worn out
- Getting custom orthotics to provide additional support and cushioning for the big toe joint
These steps can go a long way to slowing the progression of the bunion. With the proper care in place, most people will never need surgery; however, bunion surgery may be necessary if your bunion is so severe that it causes persistent and intense pain, impacts your daily routine and quality of life, and makes it impossible to wear shoes without experiencing discomfort.
New England Foot & Ankle Specialists is the premier foot and ankle practice in Reading, MA. If you have questions about caring for your bunions, call (781) 944-4044 today to schedule a consultation with our team.