What is a Bunion and How to Treat it?
What is a Bunion?
Bunions are hard bony lumps that form on the inner side of your feet where your big toe meets the rest of your foot on the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. It forms over time and can eventually push your big toe over your other toes if it’s not treated. The skin around the bunion often becomes reddened, darker, dry and irritated.
It will probably be causing you quite a bit of pain and make it extremely difficult for you to move your toes, sometimes it can also cause pain along the sole of your foot.
What Causes a Bunion?
Bunions are caused by an array of things. You can be genetically predisposed towards bunions based on your foot shape but being overweight also affects the formation of bunions. Wearing tight pointy, or high heeled shoes also causes bunions. If you have a pre-existing condition like rheumatoid arthritis this can also cause bunions to form.
How Common are Bunions?
Bunions are much more common in women, predominantly because of the shape of women’s footwear, and also because women’s feet are generally a bit more likely to generate bunions. About 10-25% of the population are dealing with bunions, which sounds quite low but is actually quite a staggering number of people, they are much more common than many think.
How Can You Relieve a Bunion?
You can take steps to relieve bunions at home, here are a few tips and tricks to help relieve your bunion pain:
- You can try to loose weight if you are overweight; this will take pressure off your feet and joints.
- You can change your footwear to something with a wider more accommodating sole, as well as choosing orthopaedic shoes that have a soft yet supportive base.
- Stay away from any high heels or pointed shoes.
- An ice treatment can also help relieve the pain of bunions, putting an ice pack on your feet (for no longer than 20 minutes) can provide great relieve for bunions.
- Special padding that helps hold your big toe in a more comfortable position can also help greatly, but depending on how sever the bunion is will depend on the shape and density of the padding, so consult your doctor about this option of pain relieve.
- In a pinch over the counter pain medication can also help you deal with the pain of bunions. However tackling the root of the problem is always a good idea.
How Can You Treat a Bunion Permanently?
If you’ve been living with bunions for any length of time you know how inconvenient and painful they can be. Normally doctors will only recommend surgery if you are fully grown; yes bunions can form in adolescents! However they can normally be treated effectively without surgery as the foot is still growing. Surgery for bunions can involve a variety of techniques, depending on the condition of your feet and the affected joint your surgery options will differ, so seeing a professional about your bunion is the best way to go, so you can have a thorough and customized for you treatment.
What’s the Recovery like?
Recovery from bunion surgery normally takes between six and eight weeks. However if your situation is severe and you need bunion removal surgery it takes between four and six months to fully heal. Initially after the surgery your foot will be in a surgical cast to help protect the area.
If you are struggling with bunions and would like to speak to a professional about your options don’t hesitate to contact our team today!