Treating Bunions

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It is said that about 30% of the population of Western Civilizations suffers from bunions, with women getting the majority of them as they get older. What is a bunion? A bunion is a swelled pain in the big toe caused by a misalignment of the first knuckle. A bunion will cause the first joint to point outward and the top of the big toe to point inward toward the rest of the toes. Another name for it is hallux valgus.

Causes of bunions include:

  • Tight and/or narrow footwear – push on and stress out the toes.

  • Inherited defects – foot issues can be passed down from other relatives.

  • Undue stress of your foot – trauma to your feet.

  • Arthritis – constant irritation and the ensuing deformity can cause the toes to misalign.

  • High heel shoes – these push the toes down and toward the front of the shoe.

Bunions can also cause calluses and corns as well as three more serious conditions. They are:

  • Bursitis – a painful condition that effects liquid filled sacs that cushion your bones, muscles and tendons.

  • Hammertoes – the bending of the joints in your toes.

  • Metatarsalgia - pain in the ball of your foot.

Making sure your shoes fit is very important and may require you to completely change them. Also adding some type of padding may reduce the pain as can taking pain meds. Some people use foot inserts or orthotics to help while others use ice to cut the pain and swelling. If none of these treatments help, then you will want to call your podiatrist who may recommend surgery. If surgery is chosen as the proper treatment, your podiatrist may realign the toe, remove the swollen tissue, reset the bone in your foot and/or fuse the bones.

Laurel Podiatry has many ways to keep your feet healthy and offer treatments for all types of conditions including shockwave and MLS laser therapy, stem cell therapy, surgery, neuropathic pain management, in house x-rays and auto-immunizations among others. If you have any questions about the above or concerns about your feet contact us at one of our 4 offices in Greensburg, Somerset, Mount Pleasant or Shayside, PA and make an appointment with Dr. Shawn P. Echard, DPM at 724-832-7880 for the latest in podiatric treatment.