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5 Ways to Prevent or Manage Bunion Pain

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5 Ways to Prevent or Manage Bunion Pain

Foot deformities are structural problems in the foot that can affect how you walk. Bunions are a very common foot deformity that can lead to pain and other difficulties. Read on to find out how to manage bunion pain.

The 33 joints, 26 bones, and numerous muscles, ligaments, and tendons that make up your foot are a complex marvel. It routinely bears your full body weight, can manage hundreds of tons of force, and allow you to walk, run, and stand upright. The burden of all of the work your feet do can lead to a variety of problems, and being the body part most likely to become injured can result from many causes.

Bunions are a common form of structural problem in the foot that can cause pain, make performing most normal tasks more difficult, and make it significantly more difficult to get footwear that fits. Managing the pain can be a challenge, but it is possible. Let’s explore how to deal with bunion pain by examining what bunions are, what causes them, and look at some ways to cope with the pain.

Residents of the Fort Worth,Texas, area looking for relief from bunions or other sources of foot pain can find help with Drs. Gary Driver, Glen Beede, Gregory Jaryga, and the skilled medical team at Trinity Foot and Ankle Specialists.

What is a bunion?

Also referred to as hallux valgus, bunions are a type of foot deformity that appears as a bony bump on the outside of your big toe, resulting from the bones on that side moving out of place. This causes your big toe to be shifted in the direction of your other toes and forces its base to stick out. In addition to the bulging that results from bunions, you can also experience swelling, redness, soreness, corns, calluses, chronic pain, and limited ability to move the affected big toe.

What causes it?

The actual cause of bunions is not well understood, but birth deformities (known as congenital hallux valgus), injuries, foot stress, ill fitting shoes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inherited genetic traits are all things that can increase the risks of dealing with them. The condition forms over time, and also has other possible complications, such as bursitis, hammertoe, and metatarsalgia.

How do you deal with bunion pain?

Here’s what you can do to prevent or cope with bunions:

  1. Wear shoes that fit

Many people want to wear shoes they think look good, but many of them are simply not comfortable and are bad for the health of your feet. Any shoe that forces your feet to shift and move unnaturally (such as high heeled shoes or shoes with pointed tips) can create an environment to exacerbate bunions. Wear shoes that fit your feel comfortably and offer support where it is needed. 

      2. Use orthotics 

Orthotics are molded shoe inserts designed to help minimize discomfort, and they can be made to better stabilize your big toe to reduce joint pain. Getting them custom made to accommodate the dimensions of your feet can make a world of difference to bunion pain.

      3. Exercise your feet

Some exercises can be used to manage foot pain associated with bunions, or help prevent the condition. These include toe points and curls, toe spread outs, toe circles, assisted toe abduction, ball roll, towel grip and pull, marble pickup, and heel raising. Some can be performed with an exercise band.

      4. Apply ice or heat

Warm soaks and ice packs can help relieve pain, when used in the right combination. Treating with ice packs and other cold therapies helps to reduce inflammation by restricting blood vessels and warm soaks and other heat treatments can relax muscles and joints.

      5. Use splints and braces

There are splints and braces available that fit inside shoes, which can help relieve tension on the tendons and toe muscles to reduce bunion pain. However, since foot mechanics vary between people, you’ll have to look for which of these devices will work specifically for your needs.

Pain can also be managed by over the counter medications, such as topical or oral nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like acetaminophen, naproxen, or ibuprofen. Surgery is the last resort for dealing with bunions (and the only solution for correcting the problem), as it will remove the problem completely but there are plenty of solutions for managing the pain if you are not ready for that.

Regardless of why you’re dealing with bunions, managing the pain associated with it is possible. If you’re ready to relieve bunion pain, make an appointment with Drs. Driver, Beede, Jaryga, and Trinity Foot and Ankle Specialists today to get started.