Say Good-bye To Painful Bunions And Enjoy Your Summer

By: Gen Wright

Have you been experiencing pain in your toes? Does the pain worsen with physical activities such as walking or running? If so, you may have developed a bunion, which is a very common foot disorder. If you have bunions, you may not always exhibit pain, but when pain is experienced it is often felt when wearing shoes that are too tight or while walking or running.

A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. 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 pain. With the help of your podiatrist and simple conservative measures, bunion pain may be managed and treated without surgery.

What are the Causes?

Although they may develop on the fifth (little) toe, bunions typically occur at the base of the big toe. Bunions are generally hereditary and can be accelerated and aggravated by tight shoes. Because of this, women are affected by bunions more than men due to the frequent wearing of pointy-toed, high-heeled shoes. Tight, narrow dress shoes with a constrictive toe box can cause the foot to begin to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion.

Most common cause of bunions is an inherited foot type. Often a family member or sibling may have a bunion. Additionally, bunions may be associated with various types of arthritis, including inflammatory or degenerative forms, causing the protective cartilage that covers your big toe joint to deteriorate.

Find Relief for Your Feet

The best relief from bunions is prevention, and that means giving your feet a break from the heels. If a bunion begins to form, soaking your feet in warm water can provide temporary relief in the early stages. If you already have a bunion, it is important to wear shoes that have enough room as to not put pressure on the bony projection. Non-surgical treatments that may help to relieve your pain and pressure of a bunion often include:

* Replacing poor fitting footwear with wearing wide fitting footwear
* Padding and taping to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.

At-home care can help maintain the overall health of your feet, but it's always best to treat any long-lasting foot problem by visiting a professional podiatrist or foot surgeon in Charlotte. Dr. Basinger can advise you on the best treatments for your bunion.

When conservative treatments fail or the pain persists, there are surgical procedures available to correct the bunion. One surgical procedure, known as a bunionectomy, may be recommended to remove the bunion, realign the toe joint and alleviate the pressure.

Talk to your podiatrist in Charlotte at the first sign of a bunion in order to discuss treatment options. Patients can also visit Dr. Basinger's website for more information on bunions, and to view pre and post-op photos. For more information on bunions and treatment, visit the practice's website or call (704) 541-3668.

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Sean Hartmen writes for Dr. Scott Basinger of Ankle and Foot Center of Charlotte, a leading podiatrist in Charlotte, NC and Ballantyne. Offering a full array of services, including heel pain, ingrown toenails, foot pain, bunions and orthotics in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Basinger is qualified to treat any disorder of the foot and ankle for patients of all ages.

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