Bunions, if left untreated, can start to throb and become very painful. Does this mean that you should have surgery to treat your bunions before they start hurting? Not necessarily; there are plenty of nonsurgical options available to treat bunions and the associated pain. It is best to see a podiatrist first, however, as they can discuss the options available to you. Common conservative options include trying new pairs of shoes that offer more room and keep pressure off the bunion. Bunions pads are another readily available option that also help ease pressure on the bunion. Anti-inflammatory medication can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation, and cortisone shots can help with that too. If conservative measures such as these do not ease pain, then surgery may be recommended by a podiatrist.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why do Bunions Form?
Genetics – susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can cause bunions to form
How are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in North Bellmore, NY. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.