Bunions are one of the most common foot deformities, are usually quite painful, and get worse over time. However, many people wait until their bunion affects their every day lives before seeking medical attention. Luckily, this condition is treatable before that stage with help from your Crystal Lake, IL podiatrists at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists.
What are bunions?
Bunions are a bony growth at the base of the big toe. As the bunion forms, your big toe is pushed outward toward the smaller toes, causing the bump to form and your toe to point sideways rather than straight. Over time, the bunion grows bigger, causing the toe to point more. The bunion’s characteristic bump tends to rub while wearing shoes, causing irritation, swelling, and pain.
What causes bunions?
Genetics play a large part in bunions’ development as you inherent the type of feet which are prone to bunions forming. Wearing narrow or uncomfortable shoes such as high heels causes bunions progress faster and make the condition worse over time, and thus bunions are more common in women than men. However, men can suffer from the condition as well.
How are bunions treated?
Even though bunions are visually obvious from the outside of your foot, your doctor takes x-rays to determine the severity of the condition. Your treatment plan depends on your specific situation. Some common treatments for bunions include:
- Shoewear: In some cases, simply changing the shoes you wear decreases pain from bunions and slows their development. Switching to comfortable shoes with a roomier toe box keeps the bunion from being irritated and slows development.
- Medications: Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen help reduce pain and bring down swelling.
- Icing: Icing the painful area for 15 minutes three times a day can help relieve swelling.
- Padding: Padding the shoes you wear to minimize irritation from rubbing helps decrease pain.
- Surgery: If your bunion starts affecting your daily life, chronically inflamed, severely painful, or if you have not benefited from non-surgical options, bunion surgery is required. This surgery removes the bunion’s bump and realigns the toes’ ligaments and bones.
For more information on bunions, please contact your doctor at Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists in Crystal Lake, IL. Call 815-356-0500 to schedule your appointment today.