How Can You Treat and Prevent Bunions?
There are easy, effective changes that you can make to prevent this deformity from progressing, and our bunion experts are also here to help you. So, you should schedule an evaluation to learn about your unique foot structure and conservative treatments that will slow the development of this condition.
Doing so will help us build an effective treatment plan personalized to fit your specific situation.
Understanding your arch type is invaluable when purchasing shoes, because all footwear is not created equal – high arches, flat feet, and neutral arches each require a specific type of shoe to provide the best support and weight distribution. We may also recommend a custom orthotic to assist in this area.
Based on the results of your examination, some conservative treatments may be recommended, such as:
- Shoe modifications. In many cases, bunion pain can be managed successfully by simply switching to shoes that fit properly and do not compress the toes.
- Custom orthotics. To take pressure off your bunion, we may recommend that you wear custom orthotics.
- Foot padding. Protective “bunion-shield” pads can help cushion the painful area over the bunion. These pads can be purchased at a drugstore or pharmacy.
- Anti-inflammatory medications. Ibuprofen and naproxen can help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
- In some cases, a splint worn at night which places your big toe in a straighter position may also help relieve pain.
- Applying ice several times a day for 20 minutes at a time can help reduce swelling. However, you should never apply ice directly on your skin – use a towel for protection.
Although these methods won’t permanently realign the joint (since they don’t fundamentally change the structure of your feet), they can diminish or altogether eliminate painful symptoms.
Choose shoes with a wide toe box and make sure to have your feet measured. Many people forget that their feet spread with age, and they continue to wear the same size year after year. Shoes that are too small, too tight, and too pointy will cause pain and encourage the progression of this condition.
Keep in mind that you don’t want your foot moving too much within the shoe as this may cause rubbing of the bunion. However, it should be wide enough to fit comfortably. Shoes made from stretchy material are often more comfortable.
If you suspect you have developed a bunion, you should seek medical treatment before the situation gets out of hand – when bunions are treated from an early stage, it will be much simpler to take the necessary treatment steps for both you and your doctor.