There are bumps in the road and bumps in the night, then there are bumps that form on your big toe joints, and those are a lot harder to get past. You can’t swerve to avoid them or turn on the light so they disappear. Nope, once a bunion forms, it’s there to stay and will only get worse if you ignore it. Not to worry though – we’re here to help!
Contrary to popular belief, shoes do not cause bunions, they merely aggravate them. Bunions form mainly due to an unfortunate inherited trait. In other words, they tend to run in the family because of a genetically faulty foot structure, like flat feet. The resulting abnormal biomechanics cause muscle imbalances which alter the way you bear and shift weight, making you prone to the problem. Tight shoes that squeeze your toes put pressure on the already vulnerable joint, and arthritis and injuries can contribute as well. All of this can push your big toe joint out of alignment, forcing the joint to jut outward and your toe to drift inward toward the others – hello bunion.
Sure Signs of Trouble
If you have family members who are sporting bunions, you can heed the heads up and take steps to keep your big toe in line. Making sure your shoes offer plenty of toe room, using protective padding, and wearing orthotics can all help stave of the inevitable. However, knowing bunion symptoms can also be beneficial in catching the problem early so you can slow its progression and avoid discomfort.
The tell-tale sign, of course, is the bulging, bony bump that forms on the outside of your big toe. It can become red, swollen, and painful, making it difficult to wear shoes. You may also experience numbness in the area, and develop calluses.
Bye-Bye Bunion Pain!
If you do join the bunion club, the sooner you get treatment, the better. Ignore the problem and it will only get worse and eventually the pain will interfere with your activities and everyday life. Don’t let that happen to you!
There are several conservative options with which to treat bunions including a switch to shoes with wide and deep toe boxes and pairs that are made of materials that provide a little “give.” Orthotics help to redistribute weight and direct pressure away from the area, as well as correct the structural and biomechanical issues that lend themselves to the condition. There are also stretches you can do as well as splints that hold your big toe in proper position. Padding can provide a layer of protection, and ice and ant-inflammatory medication can help reduce pain and swelling as well.
If these treatments fail to relieve your pain, and your bunion is truly having a negative impact on your quality of life, surgery may need to be considered. Procedures range from removing and realigning bones to fusing the bones in place. If it comes to this point, we will thoroughly explain your options and help determine which is best for you.
Contact us for more information or to make an appointment by dialing (518) 273-0053 to reach our offices in Clifton Park or Troy, NY. We can help ease your bunion pain, and keep that bothersome bump from getting any bigger!