What to do When You Have a Bunion

September 12, 2019

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Years of abnormal motion and pressure on the joint forces the big toe to bend toward the others, causing an often painful lump. The joint at the base of your big toe carries much of your weight while walking so bunions can cause severe and constant pain. In some cases, shoes may become too uncomfortable to wear. Aside from the physical pain that many experience from bunions, the appearance can make people uncomfortable or self-conscious.

If you develop a bunion, it’s important to talk to an orthopedic foot specialist. See a doctor if you have:

  • Persistent big toe or foot pain
  • A visible bump on your big toe joint
  • Decreased movement of your big toe or foot
  • Difficulty finding shoes that fit properly because of a bunion

Bunions are sometimes genetic, but they can also be a result of the way we walk or shoes we wear. That’s why it’s crucial to get to the root of the problem to develop the best treatment plan.

Treating a bunion

There are a few different treatment options when dealing with a bunion, depending on the severity. To relieve pain and pressure on the toe joint:

  • Maintain a normal weight
  • Protect the bunion with a gel-filled pad
  • Use shoe inserts to help position the foot correctly
  • Use warm soaks, ice packs and massages

In more extreme cases, surgery may be recommended. If you’ve been in pain for a year or longer and nothing seems to help, surgery may provide the relief you’re looking for. The goal of surgery would be to remove the bump return the big toe to its correct position.

If you’re concerned about a bunion or want to know how you can take care of it, contact a physician at Campbell Clinic. Our foot and ankle specialists can help get you back to normal activity and pain-free.


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