Ouch! Every time you take a step, pain shoots through your big toe. You notice a bump forming at the side of your foot and, as much as you try, you just can’t find wide enough shoes.
My friend, you may have a bunion.
Bunions are a sign that the bones in your feet are misaligned. Specifically, the bones that form your big toe are likely pushing out to the side, away from your other bones. This causes pain, stiffness, and can lead to arthritis.
Foot health impacts your whole body, particularly your posture and mobility. So if you suspect you have a bunion, see your podiatrist. If you aren’t sure, keep reading to determine whether you may need to make an appointment.
Bunions are more common in women and people over 65. In time, the bones in our feet tend to spread out, making us more susceptible to bunions.
In other cases, it can be passed down across generations. Or, it could be an underlying bone issue. Arthritis can also make bunions more likely.
And sometimes it comes down to the shoes we wear. Wearing ill-fitted shoes can increase your likelihood of developing a bunion, too.
So how do you know if you have one? The most common sign of a bunion is a bump where your big toe connects to the rest of your foot. Your big toe may angle inward toward the rest of your toes while the bump pushes away.
But if your bunion is just forming, you may not have a noticeable bump yet. Instead, the spot may feel tender or warm to the touch. You may notice swelling, redness, or limited mobility in your big toe.
And, in most cases, it’ll be painful when you walk, stand, or run. In all cases, visiting your podiatrist can rule out whether you have a bunion or not.
If you find out you do, in fact, have a bunion, your doctor may suggest a treatment. Here are some treatment options that a doctor might recommend for you.
Purchasing and wearing roomier shoes can help improve bunions. Avoiding high heels or using orthotics can help, too. Your doctor may also suggest adding inserts into your shoes for extra cushioning.
Sometimes, medication may be prescribed for bunions. Strong anti-inflammatory drugs can help reduce swelling in your toe. These are helpful tools for pain management and may keep your bunion from worsening.
Caring for Your Feet
Your doctor may also suggest foot exercises for you to do. Strong feet will help support bone structure, reducing the severity of your bunion.
He or she may tell you to ice your feet often. That will help reduce inflammation and relieve your pain.
In severe cases, surgery is a form of treatment for bunions. Your surgeon may have to remove tissue near your bunion. They may have to move your bones back into proper alignment.
Be sure to consult your doctor on ways you can prevent bunions. That way, surgery and other treatments don’t have to be your only option. Ask for ways to improve your foot strength and wear good shoes.
Maintaining Proper Foot Health
Strong feet will help you maintain good foot health and avoid bunions. Take a look at what you can do on your own to prevent them. If you’re starting to experience pain, make an appointment with your podiatrist.
For more on how to take care of your health, visit our Health & Wellness section.