Bunions

Bunions: Seek Treatment to Eliminate Pain

 

Do you experience pain in your big toe area or with physical activities such as walking or running? Bunions form when your big toe pushes up against your other toes, forcing your big toe joint in the opposite direction, away from the normal profile of your foot.  Left untreated, walking and other daily activities can trigger extreme pain.

In addition to causing pain, a bunion changes the shape of your foot, making it difficult to find shoes that fit properly. Many people may unnecessarily suffer the pain of bunions for years before seeking treatment.  Luckily, with the help of your podiatrist in Boston, MA,  simple conservative measures, bunion pain may be managed without surgery.

 

What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of your foot around the big toe joint.  Your joint carries a lot of weight while walking, which causes the bunions to be extremely painful if left untreated.  The metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP), which is where the bunion forms, may become stiff and sore.  This can make wearing shoes difficult as well. 

When the normal balance of forces that are exerted on your joints and tendons are disrupted, a bunion may form.  This can lead to a deformity and instability of the joint.  Years of abnormal motion and pressure over the MTP joint bring out bunions, causing them to be a symptom of faulty foot development. 

Common causes of bunions include:

  • High-heeled or ill-fitting shoes
  • Inherited foot type
  • Foot injuries
  • Deformities present at birth 

Bunions treatments in Boston, MA

Additionally, bunions may be associated with various forms of arthritis, including inflammatory or degenerative forms, causing the protective cartilage that covers your big toe joint to deteriorate.  If the nature of your job requires you to put extra stress on your feet, or allows you to wear pointed shoes, this may also contribute to the development of a bunion.

Finding Relief for your Aching Feet

It is very important for your podiatrist to observe your feet in order to better understand the extent of your bunion.  To reduce the chance of damage to the joint, periodic evaluation and x-rays are advised. 

Early treatment is aimed at easing the pain of your bunion, but they will not reverse the deformity itself.  Conservative treatments include:

  • Changes in shoe wear
  • Padding
  • Activity modification
  • Medications
  • Icing
  • Orthotic devices
  • Other therapies offered at your Boston area podiatrist’s office

If non-surgical treatments fail to relieve bunion pain, in addition to the bunion interfering with daily activities, you may require surgery.  A variety of surgical procedures are available to treat bunions.  They are designed to remove the bunion bump of bone, correct the changes in the bony structure of the foot, and correct soft tissue changes that may also have occurred. 

The main goal of surgery is to reduce the pain that you may be experiencing with your bunion.  Talk to your podiatrist in Boston, MA at the first sign of a bunion in order to discuss treatment options and prevent progression of the deformity.