A bunion can be very painful. If you have a sore bump on the side of your big toe, you should have it evaluated by a podiatrist. A bunion tends to get worse over time and it can affect your other toes due to the abnormal position of your big toe. It can be painful to wear shoes or walk. Early treatment might be able to slow down the progression of your bunion, but the only way to correct it is through surgery. Here are some ways to deal with your bunion and the discomfort it causes.
Wear Roomy Shoes
Wearing high heels can contribute to the development of a bunion and it can make your bunion worse. You may need to buy new footwear. Avoid shoes with high heels and narrow toes that pinch your feet. Instead, choose low heels and shoes with a wide toe area so there is no pressure against your toes as you walk. While you might be more comfortable wearing sandals, be sure to choose sandals that provide arch support and cushioning for your feet.
Try Pads And Orthotics
Sometimes a bunion is caused by the way you walk and the pressure it puts on your toes. A podiatrist can analyze your gait and determine if it causes problems with your feet. If so, he or she may recommend an orthotic insert to wear in your shoes. These can be custom made for your feet and they provide support and stabilization for your feet that keeps them properly aligned as you walk. In addition, your podiatrist may recommend padding or gel inserts that fit over the bunion to protect it from rubbing against your shoe and causing pain.
Tape Your Toe Or Use A Splint
Your podiatrist may also recommend that you tape your toe to hold it in the proper alignment. You can learn how to do this at home so you can apply the tape when you need to wear it. The tape holds your big toe in a straight position so it doesn't crowd out your other toes and cause other problems with your feet. A splint is more convenient to use than taping because you just slip it on your toe. These are often too bulky to wear with a shoe, but you can wear the splint around your home or even at night while you sleep so your big toe is held in a straight position for part of the day.
Surgery may eventually become necessary if your bunion causes so much pain that it interferes with your life and keeps you from being active. Surgery is also indicated when your big toe leans so far into your other toes that it starts to cause other foot problems. There are several types of bunion surgeries. These involve removing excess tissue and adjusting the position of your big toe so it is straight once again.
You can have a bunion for years and not experience too much pain. Other times the pain from a bunion can be so bad you can't continue your normal activities. Whether you have pain or not, it's a good idea to see a podiatrist for treatment so the bunion doesn't progress into a more serious condition. For more information, contact companies like High Desert Foot & Ankle Clinic - Wonsik Y Bollmann DPM.