Posts for tag: Bunions
How your podiatrist in Reading, MA, can help with bunions
If you have ever experienced bunion pain, you know how excruciating it can be. Bunions can make walking, standing, and even putting on shoes very difficult. Fortunately, here at New England Foot & Ankle Specialists in Reading, MA, Dr. David A. Sipala, DPM can help you get relief from bunion pain.
These are just a few frequently asked questions and answers about bunions:
What causes a bunion?
Bunions can be caused by a genetic bone deformity in your foot, causing your big toe joint to point outward and press against the inside of your shoe. Bunions can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow, crushing your toes together. When your toes don’t have enough room, your big toe joint can be pushed outward. The continued friction against the inside of your shoe can eventually cause a bunion.
What does a bunion look like?
A bunion is a hard, bony bump that appears next to your big toe. Bunions may or may not be painful, depending on the size and severity of the bunion.
What can I do to relieve bunion pain?
For small bunions, you can try applying ice to your bunion several times during the day, taping the bunion, wearing inserts in your shoes, and taking over-the-counter pain, and anti-inflammatory medications. You should also change to wider, more supportive shoes and avoid high heels or shoes that are too narrow.
How can my podiatrist help with a bunion?
Your podiatrist offers several effective treatments for bunions including removing calluses or corns to reduce friction, custom-fit orthotics, and footwear, physical therapy, and night splints to help realign your toe and foot. In severe cases for large, painful bunions, your podiatrist may recommend surgery.
Need relief? Give us a call
These are just a few frequently asked questions and answers about bunions. To learn more about bunion prevention, causes, and treatment, speak with your podiatrist—call Dr. David A. Sipala, DPM of New England Foot & Ankle Specialists in Reading, MA, today at (781) 944-4044.
Women tend to experience the pain and disfigurement associated with bunions more often than men. Here we explain why:
It's been said that women often suffer for the sake of fashion. That seems to be especially true when it comes to their feet years of wearing narrow, highheeled, pointed shoes can wreak havoc on the structure of women's feet, particularly in the form of bunions. These deformities have become one of the most common afflictions podiatrists treat in their offices. But why does this problem tend to affect women over men, and what can be done to prevent it?
First, it's important to know what bunions are and how they develop. Bunions gradually develop on the outside of the big toes from pressure on their joints. As the big toe is constantly pushed inward toward the other toes, the bunion becomes more pronounced. They are not actually new growths; the deformity of the foot bones makes it appear that there is a lump under the skin. The results of this irregularity can be pain, swelling and limited range of motion, and its appearance can make people selfconscious about going barefoot or wearing opentoed shoes.
The cause of bunions is not completely known: they may be an inherited abnormality, or they may be caused by many years of wearing illfitting footwear. Either way, it is generally accepted that cheaply-made or tight-fitting shoes can worsen bunions over time. Given that women's shoes often require the foot to contort into an unnatural position, it is no wonder that more women suffer from bunions than men. Women also tend to be more arthritic, a condition that can exacerbate bunions as well.
Low-maintenance, non-surgical options are usually the first line of treatment for bunions. Shoes should be highquality and fitted by an expert to ensure proper sizing. Speciallydesigned foot pads or arch supports can be worn to alleviate some of the pressure and mild pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can ease the pain. Surgeries involve removing some of the affected bone or surrounding tissue to correct the foot's position.
If you think your feet might be fashion victims, kick your shoes off and call your podiatrist to ask about your options.
With the ability to cause nagging discomfort throughout the day and prohibit daily movements as simple as walking, bunions can quickly turn from a barely noticeable bump on your toe, to a painful deformity that detracts from your over wellbeing. Fortunately, if caught early, you can prevent this podiatric issue from developing into a serious problem. Read on to learn if you could be suffering from this condition, and whether you should take a visit to your local podiatrist.
Signs That You May Have a Bunion
Generally forming on the side of your big toe, bunions are hard, bony lumps that are often caused by wearing poorly-fitted shoes (especially high heels), having genetic predispositions, or experiencing a foot injury. If you think that you may have a bunion, be on the lookout for these symptoms:
- A bony protrusion at the base of your toe
- A generally red discoloration
- A feeling of tightness in previously comfortable shoes
The above-listed symptoms describe the beginning stages of a bunion, a point during which your podiatrist will likely recommend a conservative approach to treatment. However, you may require more extensive medical care if you begin to notice these signs:
- Persistent pain and swelling
- Periodic numbness of the foot
- Restricted and slowed movement of the toe/foot
For less serious bunion cases, ones in which there isn’t pain yet and movement is still unrestricted, your podiatrist may recommend:
- Soaking your foot in warm water
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications such as Aspirin
- Wearing appropriate shoe inserts
- Avoiding tight-fitting footwear
In severe bunion cases, your podiatrist will likely recommend a more rigorous treatment approach in order to alleviate pain and increase mobility. Some of these options include:
- Custom-made orthotics to maintain toe alignment
- Regular physical therapy and a specialized exercise regiment
- Bunionectomy, a surgery to remove the bunion and realign the foot (this is only necessary in the most extreme of cases)
Concerned? Contact Us
If you feel that bunions are disrupting your life, then take the pro-active approach and schedule an appointment at our office to learn how to regain your health.
A bunion is one of the most common foot deformities, often affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. Anyone can develop this painful condition but it most often occurs in women. A bunion affects the structure of the foot, causing the joint to become enlarged, which causes the big toe to lean inward towards the other toes. In some cases, the big toe even overlaps the toes. This deformed joint may often become red or swollen, especially when wearing certain shoes or after certain physical activities.
A bunion is a gradual deformity, which means that as soon as you begin to notice changes in the joint or you start to experience symptoms you should consult a podiatrist. While the only way to correct the deformity is through surgery this is usually the last treatment option. After all, a foot doctor can often create a treatment plan that will reduce pain and prevent the deformity from progressing without needing to turn to surgery.
The first course of treatment is usually more conservative. You may be able to manage your bunion pain and swelling by:
- Taking over-the-counter NSAIDs
- Icing the bunion for up to 15 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day
- Placing orthotics into your shoes to alleviate pressure on the joint (talk to your podiatrist about creating custom orthotics)
- Splinting or taping the foot to improve the structural alignment
- Wearing appropriate and supportive footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the toes or bunion
- Applying a bunion pad over the area to prevent a callus from forming while wearing shoes
- Avoiding certain activities and sports that could exacerbate your condition
For many people, these lifestyle changes and simple at-home treatment options are all that’s needed to reduce bunion pain and discomfort, and to prevent the problem from getting worse. Of course, if you find that at-home care isn’t providing you with relief, or if bunion pain is persistent or severe, then you should turn to a podiatrist for an evaluation. Not sure if you have a bunion or not? Call your foot doctor.
When should someone consider bunion surgery?
As we mentioned earlier, bunion surgery is considered a last resort when all other treatment options have been exhausted and they haven’t helped get your bunion symptoms under control. You may also want to consider getting bunion surgery if:
- Your bunion is large and makes it difficult to wear shoes
- Your bunion pain is severe and chronic
- You have trouble walking or moving around because of your bunion
- Your bunion is affecting your quality of life
It can take up to 6 months to fully recover from traditional bunion surgery so it’s important to discuss all of your treatment options with your podiatrist to find the most effective method for getting your bunion symptoms under control.
Learn about some of the most effective ways to get your bunion pain under control.
Has one of the podiatrists at our Reading, MA, office recently told you that the foot pain you’re experiencing is due to a bunion? A bunion is a common deformity that often affects the joint at the base of the big toe, causing it to protrude. Here’s what you can do to manage your bunion symptoms!
How can I treat my bunion?
Caring for your bunion is actually quite simple. In fact, unless you are dealing with severe pain and discomfort, minor and occasional bunion symptoms can often be addressed and reduced with simple at-home care. Common lifestyle modifications and at-home care include,
- Wearing supportive and properly fitted shoes that don’t put pressure on the bunions or bunch up the toes (also avoid high heels and shoes with a pointed toe)
- Placing a non-medicated bunion pad over the bunion prior to wearing shoes to prevent a callus from forming
- Wearing custom orthotics in your shoes to redistribute the weight evenly on the foot, thus reducing pressure from being placed on the deformed joint
- Icing the bunion for 10-15 minutes at a time to reduce pain and swelling
- Taking over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen to temporarily alleviate inflammation and discomfort
- Performing stretches and foot exercises that could help strengthen the ligaments, muscles, and tissues around the joint
- Wearing a brace or splint at night to realign the joint to reduce morning pain and stiffness
If you don’t notice any changes in your symptoms after at-home care, then it’s time to visit our Reading office to speak with an expert. Sometimes prescription medications, steroid injections, and other treatment options may be recommended to manage your bunion symptoms.
When is it time to consider bunion surgery?
Bunion surgery is usually the very last resort and only recommended when all other treatment options and lifestyle changes have not been successful. Surgery is usually not the first treatment option to consider, as most people are able to get their symptoms under control with non-surgical options. Of course, if your bunion pain is persistent, severe, and doesn’t respond to other treatments then it’s time to consider getting bunion surgery to correct the deformity.
Need relief? Give us a call!
Here at our Reading office, we are always here to address your foot and ankle concerns. If you suspect that you might have a bunion, call us today at (781) 944-4044 for an evaluation!