If you are a bunion sufferer, you know all too well how painful they can be. Even if you’re unsure whether or not you have a bunion, your best bet is to visit a podiatrist for a professional evaluation.
What is a Bunion?
If you’re experiencing pain in the joint at the base of your big toe, you likely have a bunion. The joint will appear bulbous or enlarged. Typically, a bunion causes your big toe to bend inward toward your other toes, overlapping your second toe.
There are two main types of bunions: positional and structural.
- A positional bunion is the milder of the two types. Although the enlarged joint causes your big toe to bend inward toward your second toe, it may not be painful, yet. However, if you leave it untreated, the tendons may tighten and cause a more severe misalignment of your big toe.
- A structural bunion is more severe. When this problem develops, the base of your big toe permanently shifts position, slanting inward and covering your other toes. This could cause your covered toes to buckle.
The type of treatment recommended by your podiatrist mainly depends on the severity of your bunion. If you’re not in pain and your toe joint is only slightly enlarged, a different style of shoes may be all you need to prevent the bunion from growing. If the problem is a bit more serious than this, your podiatrist might recommend arch supports, custom orthotics or bunion pads to delay the bunion’s growth. Even if your bunion doesn’t cause pain, early treatment is the best defence against its progression.
If your bunion has already progressed and causes pain, your doctor may recommend outpatient surgery to correct the problem. The surgeon can actually shave off the excess growth of bone to realign your big toe. Aside from surgery, there is really no other way to cure a bunion. For a mild bunion, a non-surgical treatment can delay its progression, but will not make it disappear completely.
Causes of Bunions
Bunions are often hereditary, but even if you’re genetically inclined to develop one, your podiatrist can offer treatments to delay its growth. Lifestyle also affects its severity because high heels or tight shoes can exacerbate the problem. Don’t underestimate the importance of properly fitted shoes, especially if you’re prone to bunions.
If you suspect you have a bunion, don’t put off treatment. Make an appointment with a podiatrist because early detection is key in delaying its growth.To learn more about how you can get your different type of bunions taken care of, visit us at AC Podiatry for more information.