The pain from a bunion can be very intense. In fact, the discomfort can be so strong that it prevents you from doing everyday activities such as riding a bicycle or walking. However, if you suffer from bunion pain you can actually get relief before flip-flop season.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion (hallux valgus) is a deformity of the joint that connects the big toe to the foot. It forms when the big toe curves toward the second toe causing a lot of pressure and pain. With increased neglect the pressure can cause a bump to form on the inside edge of your toe.
For the most part, bunions are permanent unless they are surgically removed. Although bunions generally do not cause issues, they can create other difficulties:
• Metatarsalgia – inflammation and pain in the ball of your foot.
• Hammertoe – a foot deformity in the middle joint of a toe, typically the second toe
• Bursitis – irritation and swelling of a bursa (fluid-filled sac that cushions in-between bones, tendons and muscles
Although the exact cause of bunions is unclear, specialists agree that there are numerous factors that increase the risk of bunions. According to the Mayo Clinic, the risk of getting bunions includes:
• Past foot injuries
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Hereditary foot type
• Wearing ill-fitting shoes
• High heels that crowd your toes
• Deformities at birth (congenital)
According to Prevention, bunions start out small but will generally worsen over time if left untreated. The pressure on your joints can trigger inflammation, leaving the affected area red and swollen. Since your joints will flex with every step and movement, the area becomes even more irritated. As well, the bunion gets larger thus intensifying the inflammation and pain. If the bunion becomes too big, surgery is generally the only solution. On the other hand, there are several preventative measures that can be taken:
• Avoid heels
• Wear sensible good-fitting shoes
• Braces and splints – worn inside the shoe to correct the problemz
• Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to temporarily relieve pain
• Cushion your shoes with protective pads (if there is room, never overcrowd your toes)
• Orthotics – molded shoe inserts designed to correct the practices that caused your bunion to form
• Apply ice wrapped in a cloth to the affected area for 10 to 20 minute intervals. Ice constricts the blood vessels and will reduce swelling and numb the pain
American Foot and Leg Specialists
If your current condition is causing you a lot of pain, or you suspect that you have bunions, contact the American Foot and Leg Specialists in one of the 4 locations in Georgia – Forest Park, Stockbridge Locust Grove and Fayetteville.
At American Foot and Leg Specialists we strive to be the very best in our field. We are highly knowledgeable and experienced in advanced treatments for various foot conditions such as bunions. Our professional physicians work diligently in prevention, diagnostics and treatment in numerous foot and ankle problems like athlete’s foot, corns, toenail fungus, calluses and other foot conditions.
Since 1971, the American Foot and Leg Specialists have been supporting the Atlanta Metro area. We are located in Stockbridge, Forest Park, Locust Grove and Fayetteville. Call our central scheduling office at 404-363-9944. Generally, patients are seen within twenty four hours and emergency visits are within the same day.
Note: This article is not meant to replace any type of medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about bunions or other foot issues make an appointment at American Foot and Leg Specialists or with a qualified M.D.
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