If you have a bunion, you know that the bony bump at the base of your big toe can cause you pain and sometimes even difficulty wearing shoes or participating in activities you enjoy. The good news is there are bunion treatments that can help ease discomfort as well as slow the condition’s progression.
Tame the Pain at Home
The goal of conservative treatment methods for bunions is to minimize symptoms and increase your ability to enjoy an active lifestyle. This can be done in a number of ways:
- Avoid high impact activities that put your feet through a lot of pounding and put the bony protrusion under a lot of pressure. Try swimming, biking, or that yoga class you’ve been thinking about as a way to get your exercise in without dealing with bunion pain.
- Make sure your footwear is appropriate for the activity in which you are participating. It’s also vital that your shoes fit correctly. Be sure to choose a pair with plenty of toe room!
- Ice and take anti-inflammatory medications to relieve swelling and discomfort if you’re having a bad bunion day that’s causing you pain.
- Protect the bony bump with moleskin or a bunion pad to avoid shoes rubbing and placing pressure on the area.
- Slip in some orthotic shoe inserts that can be made to custom fit your feet and accommodate toe deformities such as bunions. These devices remove pressure from the big toe joint by redistributing weight and correcting biomechanical abnormalities that may be lending to the problem.
- Perform bunion stretches by pulling your big toe until it’s straight and in the proper alignment, then hold it in that position for a count of 10, release and repeat. You can also try taping or a bunion splint that holds the toe in place.
In some cases, the conservative measures mentioned above are just not enough to relieve your bunion pain and allow you to comfortably partake in daily activities or favorite past times. In this situation, you may want to opt for surgery. Procedures vary, ranging from removal of bone and tightening of tendons to realigning the bone and using pins and screws to permanently keep it in place. The surgical approach depends on the severity of your bunion and your lifestyle, among other factors. We will assess your condition and discuss your options to determine what’s best for you.
Keep in mind that recovery can take quite a while – from 6 weeks to 6 months. Complete healing may even take as long as a year. You may have to wear a walking cast or boot to keep weight off of your foot in the initial stages of recovery. Following care instructions is essential to bouncing back as soon as possible. When considering surgery, it’s important to know what to expect, so we are here to explain, answer questions and calm concerns if you have any, so that you can feel confident and comfortable with whatever decision you make.
To learn more about bunion treatments or to schedule an appointment with Dr. O to discuss treatment options, call Podiatry Associates, P.C. at (303) 805-5156.