Bunions are a common progressive condition 一 up to 25% of people have them 一 in which your big toe joint juts out. Not surprisingly, this condition can make it difficult and painful to wear shoes.
While surgery can correct a bunion, it’s not necessarily the only solution. Our board-certified podiatrists at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists understand that even if your bunions don’t require surgery right now, you still benefit from conservative treatments.
Here are five conservative treatments for bunions.
1. Wear bunion-friendly shoes
The word bunion is derived from the Latin word “bunio,” which means enlargement. Bunions, or hallux valgus, are known for the enlarged bony protrusion that juts out from the base of your big toe.
Because of this enlargement, the first conservative treatment for bunions is simply to switch your footwear for shoes with a larger toe box. Avoid narrow or pointy shoes, which typically make bunions worse by cramming your toes closer together.
2. Try padding
In addition to wearing bunion-friendly shoes with a wide toe box, you may also find that padding reduces stress and friction on your bunion. Over-the-counter, non-medicated padding not only reduces friction, but also helps prevent bunion complications like blisters and corns.
3. Wear a bunion splint or sleeve
Bunions splints and sleeves are two more options for bunion pain. Some people describe a bunion sleeve as a turtleneck for your toe because it slides over your toe. It helps cushion your toe and prevents blisters from rubbing against your shoe, but it doesn’t align your joints.
On the other hand, a bunion splint does help align your toes. You typically wear the splint at night, and unlike sleeves, you don’t wear it with shoes. A bunion splint doesn’t straighten your toe permanently, but it does alleviate discomfort while you sleep.
Custom orthotics are prescription medical devices that help improve the function of your foot by addressing your specific foot anatomy and conditions, including bunions. They help reduce discomfort by easing some of the pressure on your bunion bump.
Even though there are over-the-counter versions, custom-made orthotics are more effective at alleviating your pain, because custom orthotics are created based on molds of your feet.
5. Strategies that address pain and swelling
In addition to padding, splints, sleeves, and orthotics, you may find that you need additional help eliminating pain. This can include:
- Over-the-counter pain relief medication
- Cortisone injections
- Cold therapy, including cold compresses or bunion gel sleeves
Because bunions are a progressive condition, you may find that what used to control your pain isn’t as effective as it once was. Our team here at Advanced Foot, Ankle, & Wound Specialists offers bunion treatment at all seven of our southeastern Florida locations.
Explore your bunion treatment options
We understand how bunions 一 and any foot pain for that matter 一 can affect your quality of life. Whether you’re ready to explore custom orthotics or cortisone injections, we can help you get back on your feet.
Request an appointment at any of our locations in Tamarac, Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Boca Raton, and Hollywood, Florida, and find out which bunion treatments are right for you.