Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in the area where your big toe meets your foot? It may be due to a bunion. Today, we are talking about what causes these foot annoyances and how you can prevent and treat them.
What Are Bunions?
A bunion is a bony bump that sticks out of the joint the outside of your big toe connects to your foot. It happens when the bones in the front of your foot move out of position.
What Causes Bunions?
The following are common causes of bunions.
- Wearing tight or narrow shoes
- Medical conditions such as arthritis
- A job where you spend most of your day on your feet
- Family history of bunions
- Foot injuries
How to Prevent Bunions
Wear Shoes That Fit You Properly
- A little loose on your foot
- Wide-toe box
- Heels less than 2 inches
- Arch support
Make Sure Your Foot Is Aligned Properly and Supported Well
Wearing over-the-counter or prescription orthotics can help ensure your foot is fully aligned and supported.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
With every step you take, you put pressure on your feet. The more pressure, the higher the chance of a bunion forming. If you are overweight, you put more pressure on your foot and the joint of your big toe.
Take Care of Your Feet
If you take care of your feet, you decrease the risk of a bunion.
- Put your feet up at the end of a long day.
- Get a foot massage.
- Soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salt.
- Moisturize your feet to prevent them from becoming dry.
Treatment for Bunions
If you notice that a bunion is forming, you can do the following to treat it.
- Change your shoes to more loosely fitted shoes with a wider toe box.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like Advil or Aleve) and use ice packs to help reduce the pain and swelling.
- Physical therapy, massaging, and ultrasound therapy can help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Wear foam pads on your foot to protect the bunion. You can also use spacers that separate your big toe and second toe.
- Place over-the-counter or custom-made orthotic devices in your shoes to help align your feet.
- If your bunion is getting worse, surgery may be the best option. One of the surgeries, bunionectomy, can help realign your toe and remove the bump.