For people suffering from bunions, something as simple as standing may be difficult and the pain associated with every step while walking may keep you off your feet more often than not. If left untreated, this condition can become irritating, frustrating and downright painful. However, with help from your Olney, Clinton, Kensington and Silver Spring, Maryland podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Associates of Maryland, you have the option to nip bunion pain in the bud and get back on your feet for good.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a bony growth which forms at the base of the big toe. The growth, which points toward the inside of the foot, forces the big toe toward the smaller toes, eventually deforming the foot. The bunion’s location forces it to take almost all of the body’s weight with each step, causing pain, swelling and irritation. The bunion’s awkward shape also makes the foot prone to irritation from wearing certain shoes. Bunions form in women more often than men, probably due to narrow, tight and high-heeled shoes promoting bunion growth. Genetics also play a part in the formation of bunions.
How is a bunion treated?
Depending on the severity of the condition, bunion treatment takes many forms. They include:
- Lifestyle Changes: Sometimes, simply changing the kind of shoes you wear is enough to stop a bunion from growing. For example, you may benefit from switching from wearing high-heeled, narrow shoes every day to wearing comfortable trainers with a wide toebox.
- Medication: Over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, help relieve pain and swelling.
- Ice Packs: Icing the feet several times a day also helps to relieve pain and bring down any swelling which may have occurred.
- Orthotics: Custom orthotics prescribed by your podiatrist may help distribute the body’s weight evenly onto the foot, easing the pressure put onto the bunion itself.
- Surgery: In severe cases, bunion surgery called a bunionectomy surgically removes the bunion and realigns the bones and muscles in the feet. Bunion surgery has a high success rate and takes several weeks of recovery time.
For more information on bunions and how your podiatrist can help you beat bunion pain for good, please contact Dr. Christopher Farnworth, DPM, DABFAS, Dr. Michael Frank, DPM, FACFAS, DABFAS, and Dr. Marc Goldberg, DPM, FACFAS, DABFAS at Family Foot and Ankle Associates of Maryland in Olney, Clinton, Kensington and Silver Spring, Maryland. Call to schedule your appointment for a consultation today!