Are you suffering from a bunion? A bunion is a painful bump located at the base of your big toe. Most commonly, women suffer from this conditions, and one of the most common causes are shoes! Women love shoes and there really are a lot of beautiful shoes out there to choose from, but the problem is that some of them are NOT that comfortable. Before you start getting panicky about your bunions, we will tell you everything you need to know about them, as well as a few easy bunion treatments you might want to consider.
What are Bunions?
Bunions, or “hallux vulgas”, form when your joint tissue or bone on your big toe gets dislocated. This usually happens when the joint in this area suffers from too much pressure or abnormal movement, causing the joint to move out of its original place. This is painful and it gives quite a weird appearance to the foot, especially for women who wear sandals. You see, this particular joint is very delicate since it carries most of your weight while you walk. Once you develop bunions, you will feel pain while you walk, and wearing certain shoes can be painful as well because the affected joint stiffens.
What Causes Bunions?
The usual cause of a bunion is often genetic, but there are also some cases when shoes are to blame for the development of bunions. In fact, according to recent statistics by the Cleveland Clinic’s Diabetic Foot Clinic, women are more prone to developing bunions than men, especially as they age. This trend exists because women have plenty of shoe styles to choose from, but some of them are not really advisable to wear due to the foot problems they can cause.
Are Bunions a Cause to Panic?
The severity of a bunion is actually determined on a case-to-case basis, depending on the size of the bunion and the pain tolerance of the affected person. People who have flexible joints have a much higher tolerance for bunions. On the other hand, people with arthritis and stiff joints will have a hard time dealing with bunions. Whether or not you’re feeling pain on the joint, if you notice a bulge in this area, it is advisable that you make an appointment with your doctor. Things could get worse if you don’t have the bulge checked right away by a professional.
Treatments for Bunions
Unfortunately, once you develop bunions, they remain permanent unless you undergo surgery. However, not everyone is up for a surgical procedure for bunion removal. The good news is that there are actually ways to help treat bunions at home:
- Weight Management – In some cases, bunions develop due to poor weight management. This means that your weight is not ideal for your height anymore, and is thus causing strain on your joints as they are not capable to handle your added weight. In turn, switching to a healthier lifestyle should definitely be taken into consideration in this case.
- Protection – Pads are available as protection for bunions, such as moleskin or gel pads. The best thing about these pads is that they are easily accessible. You can purchase them from any drugstore.
- Shoe Inserts – Bunions can be such a pain and cause feelings of uneasiness, but you can’t walk barefoot! Get some shoe inserts, or you can also ask your doctor for other orthotic devices to put inside your shoes for added comfort.
- Splints – There are some bunion patients who are advised to wear a splint during the night, which holds the toe straight. This alleviates joint pain.
- Pain medications – Ibuprofen is the ideal medication for pain management. However, this should be taken in moderation and should be under the supervision of a professional. It is better that you see a doctor before you take any pain medications.
- Proper Footwear – Go for the most comfortable shoes! Don’t worry, because there are plenty of shoes to choose from that are stylish, but also comfortable.
Aside from these tips, you can also use ice packs and get a massage to alleviate the pain in your joints caused by the bunion. There are also some devices available that stretch the feet and realign the toes. However, these treatments are also not permanent.
The Right Time for Surgery
So, when is the best time to have a surgery? Most of the time, if the bunion is causing you intense pain, a surgery might be your best bet. Leaving a bunion untreated can lead to other foot problems, which will only make matters worse.
Surgery can return your big toe to its proper position, totally ridding you of that nasty bunion. Keep in mind that there are roughly 150 types of surgeries to treat bunions. Your surgery will depend on your case.
Bunions aren’t that critical, but could become critical if left untreated. However, what’s nice about bunions is that you can easily undergo simple bunions treatments. You have options to rid yourself of the pain. Always keep in mind though that you shouldn’t do anything to your bunions without a doctor’s advice, as this could potentially lead to more harm than good, and you surely wouldn’t want that!
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