What is it?

Bunions are bumps that are formed on the foot at base of the big toe. The happens when the big toe pushes against the toe beside it, forcing the big toe’s joint to grow and stick out. The skin covering the bunion may become red and sore. There are several ways that bunions can form. They can be created and worsened by the stressed placed on your feet from wearing tight, narrow shoes, or they may form because of an inherited gene. Arthritis has also been known to cause bunions. Bunions can also form on the joint of the tiniest toe. It is important to visit a doctor is you have persistent pain on your big toe, and can see a visible bump on the joint. As time goes on, you may find that you have a diminishing ability to move your foot. Bunion can also be a sign of certain types of arthritis, mainly inflammatory types like rheumatoid arthritis.

What does treatment look like?

Treatment for bunions largely depends on how severe the bunion is, as well as how much pain it causes to your feet. Nonsurgical treatments that help relieve pain and pressure caused by a bunion can include:

  • Changing shoes:

    instead of wearing tight and uncomfortable shoes, wear ones with plenty of room that provide ample space for your toes. You can also use padded shoe inserts that help distribute pressure more evenly as the feet move, which can help prevent your bunion from getting worse. You can also get over the counter arch supports over the counter, or get prescription orthotic supports.

  • Padding:

    there are many over the counter options for people suffering from bunions. Non-medicated bunion pads can be helpful in relieving pain. Doctors may also recommend having your foot taped into a normal position in order to reduce stress on the bunion, and help in relieving the pain.
    Pain Medication: to relieve pain, over the counter medication such as Advil and ibuprofen can be immensely helpful.

  • Ice:

    If you’ve been on your feet for too long and your bunion becomes inflamed, applying ice can help largely in relieving soreness and persistent inflammation.

Sometimes surgery may be required if non-surgical treatment does not provide the relief you need from your symptoms. It should be noted that surgery on a bunion isn’t recommended unless it causes constant pain that interferes with your daily activities.

The technique used on the bunion will depend on each unique situation. Surgical procedures may involve removing swollen tissue from your big toe joint, straightening the big toe through the removal of part of the bone, or permanently joining the bones of the joint that is affected. Recovery times will depend on each unique patient. It’s possible to be able to walk on the foot immediately after surgery, although full recovery time can range from weeks to months.

How to prevent it:

Bunions may be hard to prevent if your are genetically predisposed to having them, however you can help in the prevention by wearing fully supportive shoes that leave plenty of room for your toes.

Consequences of not treating it:

Depending on the severity of the bunions, leaving them untreated can result in them worsening over time until there is a very painful deformity in the foot. It is important to have a doctor treat it in order to prevent the bunion from growing.