Bunions are a very common foot problem, with over twenty percent of the adult population experiencing this condition. Bunions occur when the big toe pushes into the other toes instead of pointing forward. This causes a bump to grow on the outside of the big toe. Bunions can go on for years without causing any major complications, and any pain and discomfort can often be mitigated with the right footwear and other treatments.
If you can perform the preponderance of your daily activities without severe pain, then the following non-surgical treatments for bunions may be all you need:
- The correct footwear—Your shoes need to have a wider toe box so the bunion doesn’t rub on the inside causing irritation, blistering, and pain. High heeled shoes should be avoided.
- Pads and cushions—These can isolate the bunion and avoid the friction that causes blisters.
- Ice and Ibuprofen— Icing the bunion several times a day, 15 minutes at a time, will help to decrease swelling. Pain medication like ibuprofen will also reduce pain and inflammation.
- Give your feet a break—Remove some of the stress on your feet by doing exercises such as biking and swimming.
- Custom orthotic inserts—These can help shift some of the pressure off of the bunion.
- Toe splint—This is worn at night to pull the big toe into alignment.
Bunion pain and discomfort that persist and cause you to refrain from participating in daily activities may require surgery to straighten the toe.
The type of surgery will depend upon your individual circumstances, so discuss this and other possible options with your foot doctor. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists uses advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems. These may include sports injuries, arthritis, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.