A bunion is a bony abnormality that develops gradually at the base of the big toe. Also known as hallux valgus, it can be swollen and painful if left untreated. If you live/work in the greater Asheville, NC, area, Dr. Douglas Milch and Dr. Debra Wright of Asheville Podiatry Associates can help customize a bunion treatment plan to meet your needs.
What are Typical Bunion Symptoms?
When bunions form, the symptoms may range from mild to severe pain that can be characterized as sharp or a dull ache -
- A visible bump that can be red or swollen on the side of the big toe’s base.
- Pain/discomfort/tenderness near the bunion, mainly when pressure is applied.
- The big toe may become misaligned and point inward.
- Movement becomes limited for the big toe.
- Corns or calluses develop on the bump.
Additionally, finding comfortable-fitting footwear can be challenging.
What are the Primary Causes Of Bunions?
Bunions typically grow or develop at a gradual pace, although some factors make someone more vulnerable to the development of a bunion.
Certain people may be born with a genetic predisposition that makes them prone to bunions, as the structure of their feet may increase their risk. Overpronation (a foot that tends to roll outward) or flat feet will likely increase your chances of developing bunions.
Choosing to wear poor-fitting shoes that are too narrow or shoes with high heels can also contribute to/worsen a bunion, as these choices can place undue pressure on the joints and toes.
Medical conditions like arthritis are also another contributing factor.
Bunion Treatment Options
Fortunately, there are several podiatric treatment options available to help. The exact treatment will depend on your symptoms’ intensity and how the symptoms interfere with your daily life. Non-surgical options for bunions include –
- Choosing to Wear the Proper Footwear.
- Lifestyle changes, including weight reduction.
- Icing your feet to help with inflammation.
- Supporting Your Feet With the Use of Padding or Orthotic Devices.
- Using Over-The-Counter Pain Meds for Pain.
In cases where the more conservative measures noted above do not solve the problem and provide the relief needed, surgery is another option. Most procedures in which a podiatrist removes the bony portion and straightens the corresponding toe are done on an outpatient basis.
If you suspect you have foot pain or believe you have a bunion, it is advisable to consult with a podiatrist. Dr. Milch and Dr. Wright of Asheville Podiatry Associates can help diagnose and develop a personalized treatment plan to solve your foot care situation. Contact our Asheville, NC, office at 828-252-9424 or online.