Is it sandal season again, and your feet are not ready to be bared? You may be thinking it’s time to do something about that large bump jutting out at the base of your big toe- aka those unsightly bunions! Bunions form at the joint at the bottom of the big toe when the bone or tissue at the joint moves out of place. Years of pressure and abnormal motion on the joint forces the big toe to bend toward the others, which causes an often-painful lump on the joint. Because this joint at the base of the big toe carries much of your weight while walking, bunions can cause severe and constant pain… Never mind how they look!
Bunions can run in families, but they also can be the result of the shoes we wear, or the way we walk. Typically, bunions are seen more often in women, especially when they get older. One might make the correlation between years of wearing high heels and the formation of bunions! Doctors say that people who have flexible joints tend to tolerate their bunions more, but people with arthritis or stiff joints usually are troubled by their bunions more and may experience more pain due to them earlier than a person with flexible joints.
If you have bunions that are bothering you in any way, call Dr. Scott McKinney and his team of board certified podiatrists! They offer eight convenient locations in the Houston area, so you can pick and choose which is easiest for you to get to! Bunions are permanent unless they are surgically corrected. However, there are some measures you can take to be more comfortable or to slow the progression of a bunion. Sometimes, it’s simply a matter of wearing properly fitting shoes. Other recommendations include:
- Maintaining a normal weight
- Protecting the bunion with a gel-filled or moleskin pad
- Using shoe inserts to help position the foot correctly
- If your doctor recommends, wearing a splint at night
- Taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen
- Using warm soaks, ice packs, whirlpool, ultrasound and massage
So, by all means, try any of these things at home to try to help yourself. Contact Dr. McKinney and his staff if you need any help with any foot problem you are experiencing!