You may have this condition and not realize it; after all, bunions don’t get the attention of other podiatric ailments such as athlete’s foot or hammer toe. In fact, they’re usually thought of as something that only afflicts the elderly. Be assured, bunions don’t check your ID before they inflict themselves upon you.
The cause of this painful foot condition isn’t anything of an exotic nature at all. Some foot specialists believe there is a hereditary aspect to bunions, and certainly, people may have a tendency in their family background to develop certain specific problems based on bone structure. However, the usual culprit in cases of foot deformity is the patient’s footwear. Society has the habit of attempting to squish size 10 feet into size 8 shoes, despite the obvious fact that this simply doesn’t work. Why, some may wonder, would anyone in their right mind do such a stupid thing? Out of simple vanity–big feet are viewed as undesirable features, especially for females.
So millions of us stuff our feet painfully, awkwardly even, into shoes which are too short, too narrow especially, and experience burning and pressure over a space of a few months. Then one day after hauling off the offending gear we notice the change in the shape of our feet. The joint where the big toe meets the foot will now appear misshapen, prominent, sticking out a ways. This bunion will look red and grotesque, like something fastened onto the toe and is growing. It’s actually more like a cross between a bone spur and a misalignment of the big toe. After all, you can’t force somthing into a space inappropriate for its size and shape continually without inevitable bad results. Think of it like a stretch of sidewalk that buckles when moisture underneath it causes it to expand in hot weather–that material has to go somewhere. With your toe bone, it’s no different; the aching bone will shift sideways.
So what can be done for bunions? The first step is to stop further foot damage by getting into better shoes. Simply grabbing the first pair that seemingly fit isn’t enough. Check with a shoe expert who knows about orthopedic problems and be properly measured and fitted. You also ought to see a competent podiatrist if the bunions are causing much pain. Orthopedic shoes may not be elegant but would you prefer constant agony?
Some patients are told that surgery is the solution when the situation is severe. Fortunately, there are other options. Icing the sore toe joint frequently will reduce swelling. Applying a poultice of castor oil several times daily can also help. Bathing the injured joint in herbal substances containing willow bark (a natural analgesic) can also help. Acupressure/acupuncture will certainly bring relief from pain and swelling, and can induce healing of the bone and other afflicted tissue.
Putting your best foot forward need not be a matter of pain and deformity if you follow those suggestions. However, prevention works best of all. Forget about looking dainty, just focus on comfort and give your feet what they need.
For Detroit area bunion sufferers, try this professional:
-Dr. Lawrence Brown, 25511 Van Dyke, Suite 100, Centerline–586-758-5770