Beauty And The… Bunion? Five Important Facts About Bunions

Beauty And The… Bunion? Five Important Facts About Bunions

Bunions, those unwelcome, painful bumps that form on the joint at the base of your big toe, are probably one of the most common foot problems that no one wants to talk about. Why? Because even perfectly manicured toes won’t make them magically disappear. Knowing what causes these unsightly deformities and how to best treat them can go a long way toward healthy feet bliss. Here are some commonly asked questions and answers about bunions:

1. How can I tell if I have a bunion?
Bunions must be distinguished from gout or arthritic conditions. The podiatrist will also order a radiological exam for an image of the bone structure. If the X-ray demonstrates an enlargement of the joint near the base of the toe and a shifting of the big toe toward the smaller toes, this is indicative of a bunion. Cherrywood Foot Care is the expert in foot biomechanics and will be able to quickly diagnose bunions and get you on the road to recovery.

2. Did my parents do this to me? Do bunions come from my genes?
Genetic factors are important in the formation of bunions; people who get bunions are usually genetically predisposed to this bone displacement, and may cause its onset by wearing improperly fitting shoes, or by running or walking in a way that causes stress to the feet. Another factor that can exacerbate bunions is wearing high-heeled shoes. The weight of the body in these shoes pushes the toes into an unnatural position, likely causing bone displacement.

3. Reach for the stars—without stilettos.
The shoes you wear can exacerbate bunions. Uncomfortable and improperly fitting shoes can be a serious problem because they put undue pressure against the foot, which causes painful swelling. Shoes that force feet into narrow or pointy toes can cause bunions or hammertoes, whereby the toes unnaturally curl downward. Our suggestion is for you to wear a lower heel with support so you can avoid any unnecessary pain or surgery.

“Wearing wider shoes can remove the pressure on the bunion and reduce pain,” explains Cherrywood Foot Care owner/podiatrist Dr. Joseph Burke. “High-heeled shoes should be eliminated for a period of time, as this type of shoe generally pushes the big toe outward toward the smaller toes. This may be enough to eliminate the pain associated with bunions, however, if pain persists, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. Severe pain may require an injection of steroids near the bunion. Orthotics for shoes may be prescribed which, by altering the pressure on the foot, can be helpful in reducing pain. These do not correct the problem, but by eliminating the pain, they can provide relief.”

4. What happens if I do not treat my bunions?
Besides the continued pain, leaving bunions untreated can result in what are called secondary deformities, such as the aforementioned hammertoes, calluses and even arthritis. It is best to get your bunion looked at by trained professionals before it causes these equally painful and unattractive additional abnormalities. Cherrywood Foot Care can resolve all of your bunion- and bunion-related foot care needs.

5. Do all bunions require surgery?
Not necessarily. The severity of your bunion will dictate the best treatment strategy. As Dr. Burke advises, these include switching to a softer, more comfortable and merciful style of shoe, to custom orthotic devices, such as pads, cushions or shields. If these fail, anti-inflammatory drugs may be required, and then, surgery may be the next option. And while surgery can effectively resolve painful bunions, there’s no guarantee that the problem won’t recur, that the pain will go away, or that your movement won’t become limited. Ask yourself if the embarrassment and discomfort caused by your bunion is worth the post-op recovery, and if you can cope with the inevitable restriction on your movement, which often means no driving and possibly several weeks off work.

Don’t let bunions control your life. End your bunion pain now and suffer no longer. Cherrywood Foot Care is the solution.