Most people’s big toe leans towards their other four toes. This is completely normal. However, over time, some people’s big toe will push further and further over towards the other four toes. When this happens, a bunion can form. A bunion is a bony bump located on your big toe. It can be painful as it is on your joint which is where your toe bends when you walk. Bunions form slowly over time and can take years to develop. While they start out as an annoying bump, they can become very painful and cause other issues. This is why seeking bunion treatment early is important.
Will Bunions Go Away on Their Own?
Bunions won’t go away on their own. Again, it only gets worse as time passes getting more painful and making shoes difficult to wear. The rubbing can cause callouses and make it difficult to walk. There are conservative treatments that can help, but you will eventually need to get surgery. Below you will find some conservative bunion treatments that don’t include surgery.
- Custom orthotics: Orthotics are special inserts that a doctor prescribes that are custom made for you.
- Injections: Cortisone injections can help with bunions in the short-term.
- Weight: Maintain a healthy weight so there is less pressure on your feet and toes when you move.
- Mole Skin: Protect the bunion with moleskin or a gel pad to cushion it.
- Splint: Your doctor may suggest that you wear a splint made especially for bunions during the night. This will hold the toe straight and ease any pain as you rest.
- Over the Counter Pain Medication: Depending on the severity of your pain, try ibuprofen to help with any pain or inflammation.
- Shoes: Wear shoes that fit you well and are wide in the toe area. This will help with any unnecessary rubbing. Try to wear flats as heels can make bunions worse.
Talk with your Oxnard podiatrist about your level of pain and how the bunion affects your gate. You may need surgery because bunions can lead to other painful foot issues like hammertoe, bursitis, or issues with your gate. If you limp or try to keep weight off the affected foot, you can cause more problems with your knees, hips, and back as your alignment will be off.
Since bunions develop slowly there is some time to develop good habits so that you are not affected by them. Below you will find a few preventative measures to take so that you don’t have to deal with bunions in the future.
- Family History: Find out if anyone in your family suffers from bunions. If so, keep a close eye on the shape of your feet to try and address the issue as soon as you notice any changes.
- Shoes: Wear shoes that fit well and aren’t too loose or too tight. You want something that allows your toes to have breathing room (avoid pointed toes if possible). Avoid heels as they not only push weight down onto your toes but they also squish them together. This is a difficult environment for your toes and can lead to issues later on.
- Exercise: Keep your feet strong and active. Try picking up small objects with your toes.
Podiatrists in Southern California
If you are concerned you may be suffering from bunions, contact Foot & Ankle Concepts. We have a number of locations all over California, including Oxnard, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Camarillo, Palmdale, and Westlake. Our podiatrists are skilled in treating bunions and many other foot and ankle issues. Contact Foot & Ankle Concepts today for an appointment!