Bunions are one of the most common foot problems affecting adults in America. This growth starts out small but can grow to interfere with walking and exercise.
Bunions usually form at base of the big toe and result from changes to the bones in the foot. The problem is structural and should be taken seriously. Your foot health and mobility depend on it.
In this blog, we talk more about bunions and give useful tips for how to prevent them from developing. There are several things you can do for healthier feet.
What Causes Bunions to Develop? Who is at Risk?
First, let’s talk about why bunions develop. This foot problem usually has a genetic component, and individuals who suffer from bunions are usually predisposed to developing it. Another common cause is lifestyle factors such as wearing tight shoes that push the toes together for prolonged periods.
Individuals with arthritis or inflammatory joint disease are also at greater risk for bunion development, as are people who have flat feet. These conditions can affect the alignment of the feet, and the normal position of the soft tissues, which contribute to bunions.
What Complications Can Arise from Bunions?
Bunions can cause several complications. The joint where a bunion develops – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint – is a critical junction that helps in weight-bearing and weight distribution.
Some of the podiatry conditions that can develop as a result of untreated bunions include:
- Crossover toe
All these make being on your feet a painful ordeal. If not addressed, you might end up leading a sedentary lifestyle. For this reason, efforts should be made to prevent the development and worsening of bunions.
How Can You Prevent Bunions?
Here are 10 things you can do to help prevent bunions and calm them during a painful flare up.
- Wear Comfortable Shoes It’s essential to wear shoes that fit you well and have good arch support. Look for shoes with enough room in the toe box that do not crowd your toes.
- Avoid High Heels High heels place greater pressure on the front of the foot. Wearing a lower heel will keep your weight more evenly distributed. Ideally, a shoe with a rocker bottom can help.
- Use Semi-Soft Orthotics Orthotics are shoe inserts that can help support the foot’s arch and alleviate pressure points. These can be bought in stores or prescribed by a podiatrist.
- Do Foot Exercises Stretching can help keep the feet flexible and the joints more mobile. They can also help strengthen the muscles that support the big toe.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight Keeping a healthy weight reduces pressure on your feet and joints, making it less likely for bunions to form.
- Don’t Walk Barefoot Walking barefoot can lead to calluses and put additional pressure on your toes, making bunions more likely to develop.
- Consider Physical Therapy If you have flat feet or another foot condition, physical therapy can help improve your feet’s strength and flexibility.
- Rest Your Feet Regularly Taking breaks to rest your feet can help alleviate pressure and prevent bunions from forming.
- Protect the Bunion Use a moleskin or gel-filled pad to help relieve pressure on the bunion. Ask your doctor about using toe-spacers to take pressure off the bunion. A splint worn at night to keep the big toe in a straight position can help relieve pain, too.
- Calm an Irritated Bunion For symptom flareup relief, use warm compresses and ice packs alternatively. Massaging the area can also help boost circulation and relief.
Bunion Treatment in San Antonio, Boerne, Hondo, Floresville, Kenedy, Uvalde, and Live Oak, TX
If bunion pain gets to be too much, it’s time to bring it to the attention of a foot and ankle doctor or podiatrist. At The Podiatry Group of South Texas, we have a highly experienced team of podiatrists that treat this problem regularly.
We offer not just a wide range of treatment options, but also a compassionate approach. Our goal is to provide a quick, lasting relief from your symptoms and provide custom approaches to help you prevent a recurrence.