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Everyone has seen comedy sketches and jokes about bunions, but there is nothing funny about this very common and very painful foot condition. Bunions are a bony protrusion or bump found at the joint of your big toe to the ball of the foot.
As the bunion or bump gets larger, it pushes the big toe towards and eventually over the next toes. This results in even more pressure on the bunion, and significant pain in wearing most types of shoes. Seeing a bunion doctor, a podiatrist, is very important at the first sign of a bunion.
There are several different potential causes of bunions. The biggest contributing issue is always pressure and weight pushing on the joints of the foot and causing structural changes.
There is a lot of debate among doctors as to the specific cause of the condition. However, there is little doubt in the mind of any bunion doctor shoes choices certainly play a contributing if not role. We find for many women, especially when diagnosed early, simply changing shoes can resolve the issue.
Bunions are much more common in women, and specifically women who wear high heels on a regular basis. With these types of shoes the weight of the entire body is pushed forward onto the balls of the feet, pressing the toes against the top and side of the shoe and pushing the toe over with pointed toed shoes. New shoe options which are stylish and supportive of the entire foot with a wider toe box make a positive difference for many of our patients.
Other causes can include injuries to the foot, including from kicking or repetitive movements, or through genetic issues where bunions are a problem within the family. Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions which change the natural gait may also be contributing factors.
Everything You Ever Wanted To Ask A Bunion Doctor
When you meet with our bunion doctor, you will learn there are several non-surgical options to relieve the pain and discomfort of bunions. We know this is new information to many as the old treatment options typically only included surgery.
We have already mentioned changing shoes, but often our doctors recommend splinting the foot and helping to move the joint and toe naturally back into place. We also recommend using over the counter pain relievers or, in some cases, we may recommend injections of cortisone.
Last but not least, we often recommend specialized orthotics to redistribute the weight across your entire foot. These can be inset into any pair of shoes and should be used on a continual basis.
In extreme conditions, our bunion doctor may recommend surgery. This is really a last option as full recovery can take months, and you will definitely need to change your footwear options during and after recovery to prevent injuring the joint again.