It is estimated that over five million Americans suffer from bunions. A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe where it joins the foot. A bunion forms when your big toe pushes against the next toe, and forces the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. The skin over the bunion might become red and sore.
Why Are Bunions a Painful?
Because a bunion occurs at a joint, where the toe bends in normal walking, your entire body weight rests on the bunion at each step. This tremendous pressure can cause intense pain. Bunions can also become irritated and painful from excess pressure and friction from tight-fitting shoes.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions form when the pressures of bearing and shifting your weight fall unevenly on the joints and tendons in your feet. Bunions have several causes:
- Inherited foot type
- Foot injuries
- Deformities present at birth (congenital)
While it’s not clear whether your choice if footwear can cause bunions experts agree that tight, high-heeled, or too-narrow shoes contribute to the problem.
Non-surgical Bunion Treatments
Your best ally in treating bunions naturally is early self-diagnosis. Be aware of bunion symptoms such as the slight movement of your big toe and a bump forming at the base of your big toe. Symptoms can also include pain, soreness, redness, or even numbness along the protrusion.
When you notice that bunions are developing you can take steps to prevent the problem from growing worse.
Change Your Shoes – Roomy shoes that don’t squeeze your toes together can slow the growth of bunions. Choose supportive shoes with good padding and arches.
Make sure that your shoes are not too small. Wearing shoes that are too small can make bunions worse. To ensure that your shoes have sufficient room, make sure that your big toe doesn’t touch the end of your shoe.
Use Bunion Pads – You can also protect the bunion with a moleskin or gel-filled pad, available at drugstores. Your podiatrist may recommend semisoft orthoses (shoe inserts) to help position the foot correctly as it strikes the ground.
Choose the Right Activity – Avoid activity that puts pressure on your big toe and foot. Don’t give up exercise because of bunion pain. Try activities that don’t put a lot of pressure on your foot, such as swimming or bicycling.
Taking good care of your feet can slow the progression of your bunions. This may make surgery unnecessary. Proper foot care can also reduce the pain and discomfort you experience.
Jean Brown Research’s bunion clinical trial offers bunion removal for participation in the study. Bunion removal is no cost to the participant, and in some cases, can include compensation for time and travel.
If you are interested in finding out if you could be a candidate for free bunion removal, please fill out the form or give us a phone call at 801-261-8000.