If you have a painful bump at the base of your big toe, you might have a bunion. A bunion is a common foot disorder that occurs when the joint in your big toe moves out of place. A common cause of a bunion is an abnormal gait, and wearing high heels can contribute to the problem. Bunions usually get worse progressively, so treating them early might slow the progression down and manage pain. Here are some common bunion treatments.
Treatments That Help With Pain
Sometimes, bunions are so painful that it's hard to walk. The affected joint bears a lot of weight when you walk, so when it's inflamed, walking is difficult. It may even be painful to wear shoes. Ice packs might help with pain since some of the pain might be from inflammation. Wearing shoes that are wide at the toe so they don't rub the bunion will help, too. Your podiatrist might recommend anti-inflammatory medication, and in severe cases, might even inject a corticosteroid into the joint to help with pain. Ultrasound treatments to the toe joint might also be given to reduce your discomfort. Even something as simple as wearing a pad over the bunion when you have on shoes could reduce friction and pain when you walk.
Treatments That Help With Toe Alignment
One complication of a bunion is that as the joint moves out of its proper position, your toe leans toward your other toes. Your podiatrist might put a splint on your toe or tape it so it maintains an upright position. These procedures don't cure the bunion; they just manage it so you can wear shoes and walk more comfortably. A permanent solution that realigns the toe joint and straightens your toe is bunion surgery. Bunion surgery may not be considered right away since you can often live with a bunion without needing to repair it. However, since a bunion often gets worse over time, you may eventually need surgery to straighten out your toe and relieve pain.
While bunions can be very painful, you may not have pain or many other symptoms when a bunion first develops. You might notice a callous developing over the joint or a red area where the joint rubs against your shoe. If you notice a slight bump at the base of your big toe, you may want a podiatrist, like those at Chesapeake Research Group, LLC, to check it, even if it isn't painful. Sometimes, a bunion is caused by a gait problem, and wearing supportive shoes and orthotics might keep your feet in aliment and keep the bunion from getting worse and causing toe and foot pain.