Have you tried home remedies, but they are not working? This blog will help you know how to treat that painful big toe and restore your feet’ functionality.
What are Bunions?
Bunions are painful bumps that form around the big toe joint and affect are a very common foot condition. The tissue and bones in your toe drift toward the middle of the foot, forcing the base to protrude. The skin around the protrusion often swells and reddens, which causes pain when wearing shoes or socks.
Although bunions are commonly hereditary, wearing ill-fitting shoes puts pressure on the big toe causing it to push against the second one. If you also have arthritis, you are at a high risk of developing bunions. The small toe can also develop bunions, called a tailor’s bunion or bunionette.
When to Have Your Bunion Evaluated
Bunions worsen with time and do not go away on their own. Thus, it would be best to have an evaluation as soon as you notice any big toe pain or swelling. Other reasons to go for a professional evaluation include persistent pain when walking, even in shoes that should be comfortable.
Additionally, if you find it challenging to go about your normal activities because of pain, seek a medical evaluation and get the right course of treatment. Early diagnosis makes treatment more accessible and controls damage to the foot.
How to Treat the Pain Caused By Bunions
As the big toe continues to compress against the rest of the toes, it becomes painful and stiff. The pain can affect mobility, but there are ways to alleviate the pain, as described below.
- Wear comfortable shoes: Wear wide shoes that provide room for the toe area to avoid putting pressure on the toes. Also, avoid high-heeled shoes and wear flat shoes to reduce pressure, adding to the pain. When buying shoes go to stores that offer feet measurements to get your appropriate shoe size.
- Use moleskin pads: Your toes rub against the shoes as you walk, which gradually causes friction and adds to the pain. Putting non-medicated moleskin pads in your shoes will reduce friction between your toe and shoes and give you relief. You can buy a moleskin pad at a drugstore.
- Look for accessories: Other accessories like shoe inserts help position the foot in a way that reduces the pain. Get a doctor’s prescription for splints and tapes to hold your toe in place and bring relief. In addition, toe spacers realign your toes, offer comfort from pain, and prevent the bunions from worsening by stretching the feet.
- Take NSAIDs: NSAIDs help relieve pain temporarily, and doctors don’t recommend using them for a long time—the medicines, including ibuprofen and aspirin, work by reducing pain and swelling. People with bunions take NSAIDs by mouth and don’t need a prescription.
- Opt for surgery: When bunions become unbearable, then podiatrists recommend surgery. Unfortunately, bunions are permanent and non-surgical treatments provide temporary relief from the pain. Surgery is necessary to reduce pain and correct any deformity on your toes. Once your feet get deformity from bunions, it is impossible to reverse without surgery.
What Other Treatment Options Do We Have?
Leaving your bunions untreated will pose severe risks and cause other conditions, such as bursitis. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Centers of Illinois, we offer more treatment options to help improve the framework of your feet. We evaluate you and offer advice on the least invasive options. Examples of our other options are:
Custom orthotics are non-invasive shoe insoles designed to address an individual problem. While over-the-counter insoles are made to fit all, our custom orthotics are individually tailored to fit your foot. Before designing your custom orthotics, we do physical evaluations and take foot impressions to ensure we offer the right solution.
With orthotics, you won’t have to worry about pain and deformity. This is because they work by distributing your weight and improving your balance. The goal is to minimize unnecessary movement, which increases pressure on your toe joint.
If you have a busy schedule and can’t take time off from your job, cortisone injections can work for you. Also known as steroid injections, cortisone injections include a local anesthetic and corticosteroid medication.
We use the injection on the bunion to alleviate pain. Cortisone shots work by reducing inflammation and have rare side effects. Furthermore, the injections can last a few months without experiencing pain, as we only administer them up to four times a year.
If all other non-surgical treatments are not working and you get worse, we may ask you to consider surgery. We utilize the Lapiplasty procedure which aims to remove the deformity by correcting the foot structure, including the big toe’s position. Bunion surgery is not cosmetic; it depends on the extremity of the misalignment, your general health, and your age.
Before the surgery, we explain the procedure and allow you to ask any questions. You will not have to stay at the hospital during the surgery as it is an outpatient procedure. If yours is a severe case of bunions, we highly recommend the Lapiplasty procedure.
Surgery is an effective method of alleviating pain, easing mobility, and correcting deformity.
Contact Us for Bunion Treatment
Bunions are painful, but you don’t have to live with the pain, as many treatment options exist. After evaluation, you can choose non-invasive treatment plans to reduce the pain and help with movement. However, if the pain and swelling persist, it’s time for more advanced treatment plans.
Whether you want a surgical or non-surgical treatment plan, we are here to help. Not sure what you need? At Advanced Foot and Ankle Centers of Illinois, we are compassionate about your goals and ensure you get personalized treatment.
We offer state-of-the-art treatment options and have a cutting-edge medical infrastructure. Contact us today to book an appointment and reclaim your mobility!