Don’t Let Bunions Ruin Your Holiday Season!
The holiday season is in full swing, and that means you’re likely planning on dressing to impress at dinner parties with family and friends. Bring out that fancy dress and party shoes, right?
Though looking your best can certainly be fun, attending these events will probably entail spending several hours on your feet in shoes that may not be as comfortable or healthy for your feet. (We’re looking at you, ladies! Those high heels may be fabulous, but they can be a real killer.)
Now, once in a great while, your feet can probably handle the pressure. But if you’re bringing a bunion with you as your “plus one,” your holiday shoes can quickly turn into torture devices by the end of the night – and there’s nothing like a painful bunion to put a damper on your holiday cheer.
Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to prevent bunion pain so you can enjoy the holiday season. Even better, we’ve compiled some awesome tips right here in this blog post to help you do just that. So instead of letting that bump on the side of your toe ruin fun times, try some of these measures to take care of the issue.
But before we dive in, there’s something you should know:
Bunions Tend to Worsen Over Time
Bunions are progressive deformities, which means the condition will only get worse over time—and especially if you wait to seek proper treatment. Getting your pain under control as soon as possible should be at the top of your holiday to-do list. (Consider it a present for yourself and your feet!)
The further you let your bunion progress, the fewer options you’ll have left to manage or relieve pain. Once your bunion becomes large and you start feeling intense pain, your chances of actually benefitting from conservative treatment options may already be out the window. And at this point, your only option may be surgery.
The bottom line is:
The severity of your bunion will determine what treatment options will be available to you. And the measures listed in this blog will likely be of little help if your bunion pain has become too severe. (This, however, does not mean there is no hope for you. In fact, if your bunion is seriously interfering with your mobility, it’s about time you come visit our office for proper care.)
That said, we certainly hope the following tips will help ensure your holiday season is pain-free and full of cheer.
Some Tips to Save Your Holiday Season
When it comes to conservative bunion treatment, the ultimate goal is to help manage your pain so you can continue being active for as long as possible without surgery. You should keep in mind that these measures will not get rid of the “bump” on the side of your toe; this can only be done through surgical methods.
Even so, conservative treatment may be all you need to live a pain-free lifestyle (and that’s the most important part, we think!).
Choose footwear wisely
Here’s the thing: As your bunion becomes more pronounced, it may be harder to find a pair of shoes that actually fit comfortably. The “bump” may even make it impossible for you to fit in fashionable footwear at all!
As soon as you can, make sure you wear shoes that allow plenty of room in the toe box. The bunion should have enough room to fit inside the shoe without excessive pressure or rubbing, and your toes should be able to wiggle freely at the front.
Keep in mind that though ill-fitting shoes do not cause bunions, they can certainly exacerbate the condition.
Use protective padding
Sometimes, even the best fitting shoes can still cause some rubbing and friction on a bunion. Sure, you can wear a good pair of socks that will help combat this problem, but you may also benefit from using a nonmedicated bunion pad to further reduce pressure and painful rubbing inside the shoe.
Bunion pads are simple to use, too. All you have to do is wash and dry your feet thoroughly, apply the pad directly over the tender, enlarged joint, and voila! You no longer have to worry about painful friction and pressure on the area – which means more time spent enjoying family and friends.
Consider wearing custom orthotics
In many cases, faulty biomechanics and foot structure are a factor in both causing bunions and accelerating their progression. It may be that your foot structure places an excessive amount of force on the affected joint, causing it to go wayward. Or the way you walk causes you to place more pressure on that joint.
Either way, custom orthotics therapy is a great way to help eliminate these underlying sources of instability. They can provide support and cushioning in areas of the feet that need it most – which, in turn, relieves pressure on the affected joint and helps reduce pain almost immediately!
Do some stretching
Podiatric experts have mixed feelings on whether stretches or physical therapy are actually effective for managing bunions. However, they can’t hurt!
In fact, you may find that stretching and massaging the affected joint helps reduce pain. It may even help slow the rate at which your bunion progresses by strengthening supporting muscles and tissues. So don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.
Take OTC medication
If your bunion is causing mild or intermittent pain, we recommend taking an over-the-counter NSAID, or occasionally stopping by our office for an Amniotic Stem Cell injection. This can temporally reduce inflammation and discomfort so you can enjoy the holiday season without having to worry about bunion pain.
Now, if you’re experiencing severe pain on a daily basis, we definitely do not recommend you rely on medication to get through the day. In these cases, surgery is always a better option over relying on a daily painkilling regimen.
Don’t Ignore Bunion Pain – Do Something About It Today!
If your bunion pain is threating to ruin your holiday season, don’t wait to do something about it! The longer you delay treatment, the more the problem will worsen – and potentially keep you from enjoying other future holiday events, too.
Give our Advanced Foot & Ankle Centers of Illinois office a call to schedule an appointment today. We have seven convenient locations ready to serve you. And if you prefer to connect with us electronically, simply fill out our online contact form to have a member of our staff reach out to you.