What is a bunion anyway?
Bunions are bony projections on the joint at the base of the big toe. As it gradually grows over time it causes your toe to turn inwards. It occurs when some of the bones in the front part of your foot move out of place. Smaller bunions can develop on the joint of your little toe as well.
The condition is more common in women which may be due to the shoes women commonly wear that force the feet into unnatural positions. Wearing tight, narrow shoes with high heels can cause bunions or make them worse, resulting in the skin becoming red and sore. Men get bunions too and although men's shoes are typically not as narrow as womens, finding a good comfortable dress shoe that fits right should be top priority.
Bunions may also develop as a result of genetics; the shape of your foot, a foot deformity or a medical condition such as arthritis. While bunions themselves are pretty painful, there are other complications that you may experience as a result of bunions as well, such as bone spurs, bursitis, hammertoes, Metatarsalgia and Osteoarthritis.
Other Reasons That You Might Experience Bunions
- You're on your feet a lot for work.
- You have an inflammatory condition such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- You have flat feet.
- Your body is misaligned, so the weight falls incorrectly on the foot.
- Bunions run in your family
Nonsurgical Treatments for Bunion Pain Relief
In most cases, nonsurgical treatments can relieve the pain and pressure caused by bunions, but treatment options vary, depending on the severity of the pain and how far and long the bunion has progressed. A conservative non-invasive solution should usually be pursued first. Consider the following:
- Choose shoes that are roomy and comfortable, shoes that allow your toes to spread out naturally.
- Place over-the-counter bunion pads or cushions over the bunion as a buffer between your foot and your shoe.
- Take NSAIDS to control the pain.
- Try padded shoe inserts to help distribute foot pressure evenly when you walk or move your feet. Over-the-counter supports or prescription orthotics can prevent bunions from getting worse.
- Apply ice to the bunion if it becomes inflamed.
- Physical therapy may help you find relief from bunions. Through physical therapy, there are certain exercises that can be utilized to improve the overall structure of the foot.
- If the bunions get too painful, you may need steroid injections.
Surgical Treatments for Bunions
If a bunion interferes with your daily activities and conservative solutions don’t help, surgery might be needed. There are many surgical procedures for bunions, and no one technique is best for every situation. Some procedures are done in combination. For instance, a doctor may remove the swollen tissue from around the big toe joint before proceeding with a more permanent solution.
Straightening your big toe by removing part of the bone might be necessary, or the doctor may recommend realigning one or more of the bones in the forefoot to correct an abnormal angle in your big toe joint. Sometimes, joining the bones of your affected joint permanently might be the solution.
Does it Take a Long Time to Recover From Bunion Surgery?
Most people take weeks or months to recover from foot/bunion surgery. But sometimes, depending upon the procedure, it is possible to walk on your feet right after surgery.
Recovery from bunion surgery can vary depending on the type of procedure performed, the extent of the bunion deformity, and a persons overall health. In general, it may take several weeks to several months for a full recovery. I know that is clear as mud. The truth is it can vary greatly depending on the situation.
During the first few days after surgery, it is important to keep the foot elevated to reduce swelling and pain. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication and recommend using ice packs to further alleviate discomfort.
After the initial post-operative period, patients may need to wear a protective boot or cast for several weeks to keep the foot immobilized and aid in the healing process. Physical therapy may also be recommended to improve mobility and strength in the foot.
It is important to follow the surgeon's post-operative instructions carefully, which may include restrictions on weight-bearing activities, such as walking or standing for prolonged periods of time.
With proper care and attention to the recovery process, patients can expect to return to normal daily activities within a few months following bunion surgery. However, it is important to continue monitoring the foot and seeking medical attention if any concerns or complications arise.
Take Care of Your Feet
To prevent bunions, try these solutions:
- Exercise your feet and toes to strengthen them. For instance, pick up small objects like a pencil with your toes.
- Wear shoes that fit properly and don’t cramp or pinch your toes. “Break-in” new shoes a few hours at a time before wearing them for long periods.
- Wear socks, even in hot weather.
- Don’t ‘pop’ blisters as they form a protective cushioning around irritated skin.
- To prevent foot injury, never walk outside barefoot, especially if you are diabetic.
- Soak your feet in Epsom salts occasionally.
- Massage your feet regularly and moisturize them well.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Weight has such an impact on your health, including foot health. The heavier you are, the more pressure is being put on your foot and the big toe joint with each step you take.
When Should You Contact a Doctor
If you have difficulty walking, trouble moving your big toe, have severe inflammation or redness or are showing any signs of infection, you should seek medical advice right away. Also, if you are diabetic and are experiencing foot problems, you should always seek medical help. Diabetics have a more challenging time healing foot-related issues, and when left unattended, severe problems can arise quickly.
Get the Proper Shoes! End of Story!
Seriously! Alot of issues can be avoided by paying attention to what you put on your feet. The very best advice we can give you for helping with your bunion pain and preventing bunions in the first place is to get quality shoes that fit correctly. Your shoes not only need to look great but also must be supportive, with enough toe room in the shoe to not squish your toes together unnaturally. Box-toe style shoes allow your toes and foot to seat in the shoe properly so that with each step, your weight is coming down on the foot as it was designed.
Here at Gatsby Shoes, we understand the importance of proper foot attire and work hard to bring our clients amazing-looking designs that offer the proper support. Style is important, but when you are on your feet all day, comfort takes precedence. We have combined style and comfort to offer our clients a shoe they will enjoy on all occasions, in all situations. Proper footwear is so essential for the prevention of bunions but also many other foot issues as well.