Bunions occur when the joint at the bottom of your big toe becomes misaligned. As a result of the misalignment, a painful bump forms at the base of your big toe. Fortunately, treatments offered by your Ellicott City, MD, podiatrist, Dr. John Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center, can slow the progression of your bunions and relieve your pain.
What causes bunions?
Although anyone can get bunions, you may be more likely to develop the foot condition if:
- You're female.
- You have a foot imbalance or deformity.
- You wear high heels or tight-fitting shoes.
- You have gout, rheumatoid arthritis, or a disease that affects the nerves and muscles of your feet.
- One of your legs is longer than the other.
- You have flat feet.
- You injured your foot.
How are bunions treated?
Bunion treatment involves relieving your pain and taking steps to keep your condition from worsening. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, eases pain and reduces inflammation. Ice packs can also be helpful in reducing pain and inflammation.
Buying roomier shoes is a must if you have bunion pain. Tight shoes and high heels increase pressure on your foot, which may worsen your bunion and increase your pain.
You may also want to apply adhesive pads to cushion your bunion when you wear shoes. The pads also protect corns and calluses that can form if your big toe begins to overlap your other toes.
If your bunion pain disrupts your life or you can no longer control your pain with home treatment, it's time to call your Ellicott City foot doctor. Your podiatrist can recommend several treatments that may be helpful including:
- Orthotics: These prescription shoe inserts improve the alignment of your feet and also offer extra cushioning.
- Night Splints and Taping: Night splints are worn while you sleep and are designed to realign your feet and slow the progression of your bunions. Taping your foot during the day can also improve alignment.
- Cortisone Injections: The injections may be recommended if your pain continues despite trying over-the-counter medications.
- Surgery: If other treatment options aren't helpful, surgery may be an option. During surgery, your podiatrist realigns your joint and removes excess bone or tissue.
Has bunion pain changed your life? Call your podiatrist in Ellicott City, MD, Dr. Murphy of Maryland Podiatry Center, at (410) 992-8504 to schedule your appointment.