A lot of people do not understand what exactly bunions are or if they should even be treated. The answer to this depends on the patient and whether the bunions are causing symptoms that need to be addressed.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are the bony bumps that can form at the base of your biggest toe. A bunion is the result of your big toe pushing against the toe next to it, which causes the joint of the big toe to stick upward, forming the bony bump. Some people may experience red and sore skin on the bunion.
Causes and Risk Factors
Bunions can occur due to genetics. They can also develop due to conditions that affect the joints like arthritis. Wearing tight or narrow shoes can create new bunions or aggravate existing bunions. Wearing high heels increases the likelihood of bunions.
Do I Need Treatment?
While bunions may be unpleasant to look at, they don’t necessarily require treatment. In fact, some patients can go without treating bunions their entire life. However, this does not apply to everyone.
If you are wondering whether you should seek bunion treatment, the answer depends on the factors listed below. If any of the following apply to you, it may be time to see a podiatrist:
- Pain – Are you experiencing pain as a result of the bunion? Some people with bunions don’t experience any pain or discomfort – if this applies to you, you may be able to skip over getting treatment. However, many experience pain in the big toe or foot because of the bunion, which can prevent participation in activities that require standing, walking, or running for any length of time.
- Bump – Some patients develop a small bump on the side of the big toe and can live with it without any issue. A large and unsightly bump, however, may drive others to seek treatment.
- Movement – Bunions can also cause a restriction in range of motion of the big toe or even the foot, which can inhibit movement in general. If your mobility is affected by bunions, you will want to seek treatment.
- Shoes – An unfortunate side effect of bunions can be difficulty finding shoes that fit comfortably. If a person with bunions experiences difficulty finding shoes that fit without causing pain or discomfort, they should seek treatment.
Treatment Options for Bunions
If you choose to seek treatment for bunions, there are a lot of treatment options to select from.
Your doctor will be able to recommend the treatment that offers the best results for you. Here are some common treatment options for bunions:
- Medications – A variety of painkillers (both over-the-counter and prescription) can help reduce the pain and inflammation you may experience because of bunions. Your doctor will give you the best solution for you.
- Ice Therapy – Icing the area can help reduce inflammation and soreness in the feet caused by bunions.
- Shoes and Shoe Inserts – Roomy shoes that have enough space to fit your feet comfortably can help reduce pain caused by bunions. Shoe inserts can help reduce the pressure on your feet by distributing the weight more evenly throughout the foot. This can relieve pressure on the joint of the big toe, which reduces pain and may even prevent the bunion from worsening over time.
Orthopedists in Central Maryland
Our experienced team at the Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland is highly qualified in treating a variety of podiatry issues, including bunions.
Call our team today at (410) 644-1880 or (855) 4MD-BONE (463-2663) to make an appointment. You can also request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you feel better with every step.