If you’re dealing with bunions, you know what a pain they can be. These bony bumps that develop at the base of your big toe can cause pain, discomfort, and swelling. It can even make it a challenge to find comfortable shoes.
Bunions result when the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of your toe compresses and shifts out of place. While anyone can get a bunion, some risk factors increase your chances of getting this bony growth, including:
- Wearing tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes
- Sustaining a trauma or injury to the foot
- Having a family history of bunions
- Having certain foot structures, like flat feet or low arches
- Participating in activities that put repetitive strain on the joint
Ignoring bunions can lead them to worsen over time, resulting in more severe pain and even foot deformities. The good news is that you can take practical steps to manage bunion pain and prevent the condition from worsening.
As bunion experts, the board-certified podiatrists at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers in Texas, have years of experience helping people find relief from the frustration of bunions. Our practice offers multiple treatment options to stop your bunion from getting worse.
Take a moment and learn some practical ways to keep bunion pain from progressing.
1. Choose the right footwear
One of the key ways to manage bunion pain is choosing the right footwear. Look for shoes with a wide toe box, giving your toes enough room to move freely without pressure or rubbing against each other.
You’ll also want to opt for shoes with good arch support and cushioning to reduce stress on your feet. Avoid high-heels and pointy-toed shoes as they can exacerbate bunion pain and increase pressure on the affected area.
2. Use protective padding
In addition to selecting the right shoes, using protective padding can relieve bunion pain. Protective padding can help reduce friction on your bunion, helping prevent complications.
Consider using gel or moleskin pads specifically designed for bunions. These pads work like a cushion, preventing direct contact between the bunion and your shoes. Creating a barrier can ease discomfort and protect the bunion from further irritation.
3. Reach and maintain a healthy weight
Attaining and/or maintaining a healthy weight is key when it comes to managing bunion pain. Excess weight can cause additional stress on your feet, increasing discomfort and speeding up the progression of your bunions.
You can take steps to stop bunion pain from worsening by switching to a healthy diet and making regular physical activity a part of your daily routine. The best part? Maintaining a healthy weight is also one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
4. Keep inflammation at bay
Inflammation is the root cause of much bunion pain. You can help stop bunion pain from worsening by keeping inflammation at bay.
Try applying ice packs to the affected joint for 15-20 minutes at a time to help reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief. You can also try over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and ease discomfort.
Be sure to follow the recommended dosage and talk to your Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Centers provider if you have any concerns or can’t manage inflammation with at-home methods.
5. Strengthen your toes and feet
Exercises that strengthen the muscles and improve flexibility in your toes and feet can help ease bunion pain. Toe stretches, toe curls, and picking up small objects with your toes are some simple exercises you can perform at home to improve foot function and reduce the discomfort bunions cause.
Schedule an appointment with your podiatrist for personalized guidance on the right exercises for your bunion.
6. Get professional help
If you have a bunion, professional treatment can ease your discomfort and help prevent your condition from progressing. At Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Center, our team assesses the severity of your bunion to recommend personalized treatment options.
While surgical intervention may be required in severe cases, most bunions can be addressed with nonsurgical options, including therapies such as:
- Custom orthotics
- Splints and braces
- Physical therapy
- Cortisone injections
- Prescription anti-inflammatory medications
Living with a bunion doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. Get the help you need to stop your bunion pain from worsening by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a podiatrist at Arlington/Mansfield Foot & Ankle Center.