Many people develop bunions in their lifetime. And women are considered more at risk than men. While the exact reason that bunions form is not known, the risk of development does seem to run in families. Wearing improperly fitting shoes is also a common reason that bunions form or become aggravated. This article explains how to relieve bunion pain and what actions to take if it still hurts.
While lower arches, flat feet, and loose joints are common risk factors for developing bunions, wearing high heels dramatically increases the chances of developing bunions. High heels are often cited as to why women tend to suffer from bunion pain more than men.
Traditionally, you can identify a bunion by the protruding bump on the joint just below the big toe. On the inside, the first bone of the big toe becomes turned towards the outside of the foot, putting pressure on the joint. Because most shoes do not fit well with this bump, wearing shoes and walking aggravate the misaligned joint, causing pain. As the bunion worsens, the fluid sac that cushions joints become inflamed and increases discomfort.
How to Relieve Bunion Pain
Bunions are sometimes only mildly uncomfortable, but they can become so painful that walking and normal daily activities become limited or must be given up. You may consider some of these common at-home remedies to relieve bunion pain.
- Use an ice pack or other cold compress to alleviate the pain of the joint.
- Switch out shoes for more comfortable options with a roomy toe area that does not constrict or pressure the bunion.
- Purchase padded or gel-filled inserts to reduce pressure on bunions when wearing shoes.
- Stretch feet to encourage joints into proper alignment.
- Wear a restrictive toe guard splint. Only wear splints under the supervision of a medical professional.
What Do I Do If It Still Hurts?
If at-home remedies are not sufficient for relieving your bunion pain, surgery may be required to correct the condition. Surgery is the only way to actually fix bunions, as the bones of the foot must be realigned for the bunion to heal completely.
There are many different types of bunion surgery, some more invasive than others. Most individuals seek bunion surgery because the bunions have worsened to the point where they are affecting other toes. Or they are causing other problems. Extended recovery periods are required for more invasive surgery. This may include limiting walking as much as possible, and not driving. Avoiding sports or running for months afterward may also be limited.
Why Should I Take Care of My Bunions?
Especially in older individuals, bunion pain can significantly reduce the quality of life. Bunions can limit mobility and encourage sedentary behavior and the avoidance of exercise, causing obesity, heart problems, and more. Because foot pain is so common, some assume that it is normal. However, if the pain in your feet is affecting your normal daily activities, it may be time to see a doctor.
At Best Foot Doctor, our experienced team has a great deal of experience dealing with bunions. We will listen to your concerns, help you understand your condition, and work together to develop a treatment plan of action for your situation. Please give us a call today to set up an appointment.