A bunion can cause pain and discomfort when you have to stand on your feet all day. The foot condition also tends to get worse over the years, and it may eventually cause severe pain that interferes with your ability to stay active. Treating your bunion early to slow down its progression is something to consider because if the condition gets bad enough, you may need surgery on your toe. Here's a look at some bunion treatments that might help.
Wearing Shoes That Don't Put Pressure On Your Toes
You may need to change the type of shoes you wear. Shoes that have pointed toes and shoes that have high heels put pressure on the joint in your big toe where a bunion develops. Continuing to wear those types of shoes when you have a bunion could cause the bunion to get worse faster.
Wearing those shoes could also cause your foot pain to be much worse. Switching to shoes with low heels and wider toes such as running shoes relieve pressure on your toe and help prevent pain.
Using Orthotics And Pads
In the early stages, you might get relief from bunion pain by wearing a pad over the bump to cushion it from your shoe. You can buy bunion pads at a drugstore for just that purpose. You might also need other types of shoe inserts or orthotics. These can be custom-made by a podiatrist if needed.
One type holds your toe in the proper alignment, so it doesn't lean into your other toes. You may need to wear a toe splint at night to hold your toe in place, or your podiatrist may show you how to tape your toe to keep it aligned properly to prevent pain and to manage the leaning caused by the condition.
Taking Measures To Control Swelling
Your podiatrist can help you choose the right pain-relieving medication for your bunion. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication could be sufficient. A corticosteroid injection might be necessary for severe inflammation and pain.
Mild pain might even be relieved with ice packs that reduce mild swelling. Other ways to control swelling include wearing roomy shoes, avoiding standing on your feet for prolonged periods, and resting with your foot elevated as much as possible.
Undergoing Bunion Surgery
If you've had your bunion for several years and it's become very painful or if your big toe leans far into your other toes, your podiatrist might recommend surgery. There are a few different approaches to correcting a bunion.
Some surgeries are minimally invasive and quick to recover from while others have a long recovery period. Your doctor may remove tissue from around the joint or remove bone so your toe can be moved back to a normal position. This may require inserting a plate or screws into the bones to hold your toe in place. Surgery isn't always necessary for bunions. Your podiatrist will evaluate your degree of pain and how much the bunion interferes with your ability to work or stay active when determining the best treatment for you.