Where do Bunions Come From?
We rely on our feet to get us from one place to the next, and every day they support our weight and allow us to move about freely. Because of the enormous strain that's put on our feet on any given day, it's not uncommon to develop uncomfortable foot problems, and a prevalent one is bunions.
These painful swellings on the first joint of the big toe affect more people than many of us realize. Twenty-three percent of people aged 18 to 65 have developed bunions, and that number increases to a whopping 36 percent in people over age 65.
Just because you've developed a bunion, however, doesn't entitle you to a handicapped sticker for your car. You still must put weight on your feet to get to and from places, and this can be excruciating. Fortunately, there are some effective foot bunion treatments you can implement to decrease discomfort or eliminate pain completely.
Examine Your Footwear
There is a common cure for bunions that can rid you of the problem permanently, and it's as simple as examining your footwear. The development of bunions has been noted in women in far larger numbers than men, and this is due strongly to the fact that they are more likely to pay a big price for following the latest trends in fashion.
Shoes such as stilettos and platforms may look nice, but they are unnatural to the foot. If you often wear a type of shoe that is noticeably uncomfortable, this could very well be the source of your bunions. By ceasing use of these shoes altogether, you may very well notice bunions diminishing or disappearing completely. Instead, opt for larger shoes featuring a wide toe box.
While this treatment option will not cure the bunion, it is a great way to reduce pain and promote flexibility. Furthermore, continual exercise can reduce the progression of the condition. Among the exercises you may find beneficial include:
Toe stretches: Simply straighten and curl the toes repetitively ten to twenty times per day.
Toe flexing and contracting: Press the toes against a hard surface and hold for around 15 seconds. Repeat five times daily.
Resistance: Wrap a belt around the toes and pull on it, allowing this resistance to remain static for around ten seconds.
Picking up items: Place around twenty small items such as marbles on the floor and pick them up with the toes and place them in a bowl or cup.
To reduce the swelling and pain involved with bunions, it's often helpful to take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen. This can offer the relief you need to make it through the day. To further enhance the effects of anti-inflammatory medication, try combining their use with natural supplements such as ginger and turmeric. While it takes longer for them to kick in, they can increase the level of relief you ultimately enjoy.
When it comes to bunions, each case is unique. That's why there are more than 100 different surgical procedures to correct them. Because of this vast variation, it sometimes takes a doctor to pinpoint the most effective treatment option. For example, while over-the-counter medication may suffice for one person, someone else may also require additional relief through methods such as ice packs or warming methods. In ideal circumstances, they'll be able to find a way to help you cure the condition once and for all.
A comfortable and reliable treatment option for your bunions could be as close as your local retail store. Shoe inserts are popular even for those not suffering from bunion pain as they provide additional support and comfort to the feet. They help encourage correct positioning of the foot. You could also consider the use of moleskins or gel-filled pads that can be found at most drugstores. For those with severe cases, it could be worthwhile to ask your doctor about prescription orthotic devices.
Splints and Spacers
Other treatment options that have proven beneficial to bunion suffers are bunion splints and toe spacers. You should pursue these options under the guidance of a health care professional as it's crucial you find the device that works best in your unique case. It is worth noting, however, that the benefits of these devices are only temporary. Just like with a pair of sunglasses; once you remove them, you lose the benefits they offer.
While you want to find the least invasive treatment method for bunions as possible, sometimes surgery is the only viable option. Also known as a bunionectomy, this outpatient procedure takes a couple of hours to complete. Patients are generally administered an ankle block, or an anesthetic that numbs them from the ankle down. Once this takes effect, the bunion can be surgically removed, and any other foot repairs can also be addressed during this time.
Bunion surgery is a last ditch effort when other treatment options prove futile, and is typically recommended in cases where the condition is causing substantial pain. Following the procedure, a surgical boot is worn for a couple of weeks, followed by about three additional weeks of recovery. It's normally recommended to keep weight off the foot and use crutches for around five weeks following surgery. Overall, the procedure is one that yields positive results, as 90 percent of patients are able to fully recover without pain or further issues.
The Quality of Life You Deserve
We only have one life to live, and you deserve to live yours in comfort. Bunions don't have to dictate your life, and there are numerous treatment options from which you can choose. By carefully exploring your choices, you can find the affordable foot bunion treatment that will best suit your individual circumstances. Regain control over your life and pursue your options today.