What Wichita Podiatrist Dr. Weaver Can Do About Your Bunion Pain

A bunion is a big toe joint deformity resulting from bone misalignment or repositioning at the joint. Although bunions occur most frequently at the base of the big toe, they also develop on the outside of the foot at the base of the small toe. Bunion causes, symptoms, and treatment options vary by each individual. Dr. Weaver and the team at Central Kansas Podiatry Associates believe it’s important to learn all you can about the nature of your condition and work together on effective treatment. 

What Causes Bunions? 

When the joint at the base of the big toe becomes enlarged and rubs against footwear, this creates friction and pressure. Eventually, the big toe may press inward against the smaller toes, even overlapping as far as the third toe in some cases, a condition called hallux valgus, or bunion. Sometimes, the big toe also rotates or twists inward, a condition known as hallux abducto valgus.

The risk factors for developing bunions include: 

  • Overpronation, flatfoot, or other neuromuscular problems
  • Tight-fitting, narrow-toed, or high-heeled footwear
  • Recurring stress on the foot
  • Previous foot injuries
  • Congenital defects
  • Arthritis

Can you prevent bunions? In some cases, possibly. If you’re diligent about daily foot care and notice some odd toe repositioning or don’t feel as comfortable in your shoes as before, seeking early diagnosis and treatment may help slow or stop bunion development. Wear properly fitting, supportive footwear or custom orthotics, too.

Bunions Symptoms and Treatment Options in Our Wichita Office

Our feet absorb a lot of pressure, but pain is never normal. Schedule an appointment today if you experience: 

  • Chronic pain and discomfort when walking, especially as the bunion becomes larger and rubs against footwear.
  • Swelling, redness, and tenderness at the base of your big or little toe.
  • Thickened skin on the bottom of the joint.

After a thorough examination, your bunion treatment options may range from rest and adaptive footwear to taping or, in more severe cases, a surgical procedure called a bunionectomy, which realigns the joint. 

To ease bunion pressure and discomfort:

  • Apply ice and rest your foot between long periods of standing or walking. 
  • Wear loose-fitting, non-constricting footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion.
  • Insert orthotics into footwear to provide stability and correct positioning.
  • Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications on a temporary basis for pain and inflammation.

Work with our podiatry team on other forms of treatment, such as: 

  • Stretching the area with specific exercises to keep the joint mobile.
  • Using splints or taping techniques during sleep to encourage proper joint alignment. This is often preferred for younger patients suffering from bunions because bones are still developing.  
  • Receiving cortisone injections to reduce joint inflammation.
  • Removing corns or calluses.

Prompt attention is essential, though, as untreated bunions can lead to other toe deformities, such as hammer toe. Arthritis and bursitis may also develop in the joint area.

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