Podiatrists specialize in diagnosing and treating a variety of foot and ankle issues. However, one of the most popular foot issues are bunions, which can be extremely painful, often requiring treatment, and sometimes surgery.
What Causes Bunions?
People are often born with a specific foot type that can cause bunions to form. For example, people that have flat feet often experience increased flexibility and abnormal mechanics, which are likely to form bunions over time.
Bunions are commonly found on people who over-pronate when walking or running, making them more reliable on their ligaments and bones to support their feet, instead of the muscles that support their arch.
Other causes of bunion development may include other health conditions, including osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, and neurovascular disease. People who regularly wear tight shoes or high heels may also develop bunions over time.
Symptoms of bunions often include:
- Pain, tenderness on the big toe
- Pain is increased when wearing narrow or pointy-toed shoes
- Inflammation of the big toe, increasing the angulation of the toe
How To Treat Bunions?
While there are a variety of treatment options when it comes to bunions, these options depend on the severity of the condition. Some early treatment options include:
- Appropriate fitting shoes, with ample room
- Bunion pads, to reduce pressure and rubbing
- Resting and elevating the foot
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and pain medications
If these conservative treatments fail to work, then surgery may be the only other option, which can be helpful in improving function, as well as prevent pain from occurring. Delaying bunion surgery can cause a greater chance of the development of arthritis in the foot, which can end up in a more complicated surgery down the road.
If you are suffering from painful bunions, it is best to consult with your podiatrist immediately. Contact the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois for more information today!