Bunion Treatment Tips

Learn Bunion Treatment OptionsA bunion is a bony bump that grows on the joint at the base of your big toe. It forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe and forces the joint of your big toe to enlarge and stick out. Treatment options vary according to the type and severity of the bunion and a surgical procedure is the most invasive method. Below are some helpful bunion treatment tips.

Surgery: This operation is also known as a bunionectomy. A doctor performs the procedure in a hospital or surgery center under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. The surgeon can realign the bone behind your big toe by cutting the ligaments at the joint.

Bunion Pads and Orthotics: You can buy bunion pads at a pharmacy or grocery store. They cushion and protect your bunion. Another option is orthotics which is custom-made supports that you place just behind the big toe joint on the bottom of your foot. They redistribute your weight while you walk and take pressure off your big toe.Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist who can do an evaluation and fitting for you.

Stretchable Shoes: These are a good solution for very large bunions. They have a special design that combines suede leather and spandex and they are flexible and breathable. The shoes stretch to conform to the contours of your foot, accommodate foot deformities and eliminating pressure on your bunions.

Physical Therapy: This provides relief from bunion inflammation and pain. One popular technique is ultrasound therapy for treating bunions and their associated soft tissue involvement.

Podiatric Care for Elderly People: It’s Not Just About Shoe Inserts and Bunion Creams

Podiatric Care for Elderly PeopleDo you suffer from poor circulation in your feet? If so, and you happen to be over the age of 50, chances are you’re in good company. Why? It is a condition that commonly affects our country’s senior members, especially those that live rather sedentary lifestyles. It may lead to edema, undesirable skin changes, prolonged infections, painful cramps and a thickening of the toenails. On an upbeat note, receiving podiatric care geared towards elderly people may help resolve at least some of those complaints.

Podiatrists typically attack circulatory problems using a variety of modalities. For example, they may suggest that seniors start using topical creams that contain a mixture of L-Arginine and nitric oxide (e.g. HealthiFeet ). They are widely recognized as two agents that help improve blood vessel health and overall circulation. This is often especially the case when they are combined with therapeutic massage, hot/cold therapy and foot exercises.

It is also not unusual for podiatrists that believe in using a holistic approach to treat elderly people’s feet to prescribe the use of herbal supplements or medicinal herbs. The list of those that are known to help improve circulation in the lower extremities includes, but isn’t restricted to ginkgo biloba, vitamin C, ginger, fish oil and cayenne pepper. Those types of treatments are normally paired with biofeedback assisted relaxation sessions, yoga, Epsom salt foot baths, acupuncture, support stockings and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation.

Other podiatrists may prefer to stick with manmade, over-the-counter or prescription medications. Examples include vasodilators, calcium channel and alpha blockers. However, because many elderly people take so many medications already, this is not always possible. Therefore, some podiatrists may work with the person’s other doctors and pharmacists to come up with compound medications that may help.

In addition, podiatric care for the elderly also tends to include routine tasks like nail trimming, callus removal and the aggressive treatment of fungal or bacteria generated infections. To learn more about them and the other treatments mentioned above, please reach out to one of our well respected podiatrists today.

Bunion Treatment Options

Learn Bunion Treatment Options Bunions are deformities of the MTP (metatarsophalangeal) joint, which lies at the base of your big toe. This condition can severely affect your foot from functioning properly, as well as cause discomfort and damage your other toes. If you have a bunion, you need to get a professional diagnosis and receive treatment from a St. Peters podiatrist.

Diagnosing Bunions

It can be obvious that you have a bunion from the pain and the odd shape of your big toe. However, you still should get a professional diagnosis.

  • X-Rays—In most cases, a podiatrist will x-ray your foot to evaluate the severity of the condition.
  • Blood Tests—These are done to determine if a particular form of arthritis is the cause of the pain.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Fortunately, most bunions can be treated at home, without needing surgery. The goal of any bunion treatment is to alleviate toe pain, as well as stop the bunion from growing worse.

  • OTC (over-the-counter) pain medications, as well as medicines designed to relieve inflammation, can help relieve symptoms
  • Warm foot baths and heating pads can be effective in easing discomfort
  • Ice packs are another way to treat bunions. They should be applied to your toe joints for 10- to 20-minute intervals.
  • Splints, bunion pads and shoe inserts are also used in treating symptoms.
  • Wearing “roomy” shoes that have deep and wide toe boxes (the area surrounding the toes) can help. Don’t wear narrow, tight shoes or high heels that place pressure on our big toe joint.
  • Prescription shoes, which are made with specially designed insoles that help relieve pressure from affected joints, is another treatment. These shoes also are effective in helping the foot become restored to its correct shape.

Bunion Surgery

Sometimes surgery is necessary when severe symptoms are involved. This type of surgery, known as a bunionectomy, is done to realign the bone located behind the big toe. To do this, a podiatrist cuts the ligaments at the joint.

In severe cases, an osteotomy may be needed in which the bone is cut. This surgery involves using screws and wires to secure the bones. It also entails shaving or removing the excess bone.

Warnings

  • As with most surgeries, there’s always the chance of side effects. Complications may occur, such as bunion recurrence, limited toe motion and pain.
  • Bunions generally develop by your feet being continually squeezed into pointed-toe and narrow footwear.

Ignoring bunions only intensifies the condition. Don’t hesitate to contact our St. Peters foot clinic today if you have bunions.

Conservative Non-Surgical Bunion Treatment

Treatment for BunionsBunion treatment is often comprised of both surgical and non-surgical treatments. A bunion is a painful deformity of the joint located at the base of the great toe. Although ill-fitting shoes can trigger the development of a bunion, they are not the cause, according to Harvard Health Publications. It is important that bunions get treated because they can eventually cause damage to your other toes. If your bunion pain interferes with your activities of daily living, talk to your Missouri podiatrist about these conservative treatment options.

Shoe Inserts

Shoe inserts are designed to help evenly distribute the weight of your foot. This relieves pressure and pain, while helping to prevent further damage to the joint. Shoe inserts can be purchased at most podiatry offices and pharmacies, but they are not effective for everyone. If non-prescription shoe inserts fail to reduce your symptoms, talk to your Missouri foot doctor about custom made, prescription shoe orthotics.

Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications are effective bunion treatments because they relieve both pain and swelling. If you cannot tolerate the side effects from these medications, such as stomach upset, consider taking acetaminophen. Although effective in treating pain, acetaminophen, does little to relieve other bunion symptoms such as inflammation, warmth, and redness. If you need stronger pain relief, you can talk to your podiatrist about possible prescription pain medications or cortisone injections.

Proper Shoes

Wearing shoes with wide toe boxes provide more room for your toes. The roomier the shoe, the less cramped your toes will be. Also avoid high-heeled shoes because the steep incline places pressure on the irritated toe joint and raises the risk for further deformity.

Application of Ice

Applying ice to the affected joint is one of the simplest, yet most effective bunion treatments. The ice helps relieve pain, while reducing inflammation and redness. Always use a barrier between the ice and your skin to avoid frostbite or tissue damage. Apply ice up to 4 times per day, for at least 15 minutes at a time.

Bunion Pads

Wearing gel-filled or moleskin pads are cheap and effective bunion treatments. Bunion pads help minimize pressure from your shoes, and can help prevent friction from your bed linens from irritating your foot when you go to sleep. Always replace your bunion pads when they get worn out or dirty because they may lose their effectiveness.

If conservative bunion treatments fail to provide you with relief from your symptoms, talk to your foot & ankle specialist about surgical options. Recovery from a bunionectomy can take up to 8 weeks, and may involve physical therapy. After the 8 week recuperation period, relief from symptoms is usually dramatic and permanent.

Celebrities Suffer Foot Problems Too

Celebrities with Foot ProblemsVictoria Beckham. Michelle Yeoh. Sarah Jessica Parker. What do these ladies have in common? Less than perfect feet. Each of these ladies suffers from bunions.

You may have heard of bunions and associated them with old age. That isn’t the case however. Bunions are very often caused by ill fitting shoes and high heels.

So what is a bunion?

A bunion is a bump that forms at the base of the big toe (though sometimes they are also found on the outside of the foot at the little toe). The bone and tissue is forced out of place at the joint and the toe then bends inwards towards the other toes. It comes about from years of pressure at the joint, exactly what years of fitting a foot into a high heel with pointed toes does.

What are the symptoms?

  • An obvious bump on the outside of the foot
  • Pain, redness, swelling at the joint
  • An inward turned big or little toe
  • Restricted range of motion in the affected toe

What can be done?

For the short term, applying ice will help pain and swelling. Non steroidal anti inflammatory pain medications can also be beneficial. For the long term, wearing wide shoes that are more box shaped and no heels over two inches tall.

A Missouri podiatrist visit will probably be in your future. They may design special orthotics, use cortisone injections, prescribe pain medications, recommend padding and taping to keep the foot in a proper position, or prescribe therapy. As a last resort it may require bunion surgery (bunionectomy) to remove the bony prominence.

Stylish shoes and heels may make you feel beautiful, but would those celebrity ladies now suffering from bunions say it was worth it?

If you suffer from bunions or other foot issues check out our website and contact our Missouri foot clinics today.


Image courtesy of patrisyu / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Look At 4 Modern Day Bunion Treatments

Treatment for BunionsBunions are one of the many things that can go wrong with our feet. They are most often caused by a handful of things. Among them are arthritis and wearing ill-fitting shoes. The good news is that our Missouri podiatrists offer patients access to bunion treatments that may provide relief. With that said, here is a rundown on four common bunion treatments:

Bunion Treatment #1: Shoe Inserts/Orthotics

Custom shoe inserts and orthotic devices are just two bunion treatments that a podiatrist may recommend. In the majority of those instances, the patient attends a scheduled fitting first. Once all of the necessary measurements are taken, the inserts or orthotics are created to those exact specifications. Afterward, the patient returns to the podiatrist’s office for a final fitting. If no further adjustments are needed, the patient is able to leave the office with the shoe inserts or orthotics in hand.

Bunion Treatment #2: Taping/Padding

In some situations, our podiatrists may recommend that the patient try taping and padding the bunion first. There are several companies in operation today that manufacture products designed for such applications. So the patient may need to try out a few different combinations before finding the right one.

Bunion Treatment #3: Exercises and Lifestyle Changes

Depending on the condition of the bunion, the podiatrists’ list of suggestions may also include making lifestyle changes. Those lifestyle changes may include taking over-the-counter pain relievers and engaging in foot exercises. Examples of exercises that the podiatrist may order are toe extensors and toe adductors.

Bunion Treatment #4: Surgery

Lastly, in severe cases, podiatrists may suggest that patients undergo a surgical procedure to have the bunion removed called a bunionectomy. The surgical option, however, may not be best for everyone. It typically involves a lengthy recovery period, and during the recovery period, the patient may need assistance completing routine tasks. For more information about these Missouri bunion treatment options and others, please contact our Missouri foot & ankle clinics.