A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a foot deformity in which the big toe leans towards the other toes, forcing the joint at the base of your big toe to stick out. Wearing shoes that are overly tight or narrow around the toe area is often the common cause of bunions. Bunions may not be as painful in the early stages of development but, over time, may develop into a severe disfigured foot deformity if it's not appropriately addressed. It can cause additional problems like blistering and overlapping toes. A painful bunion can make it challenging to wear shoes or even walk. Bunions could form as a result of an occupational hazard, as in the case of ballerinas, teachers, doctors, and nurses, whose feet suffer severe repetitive stress.
Here are a few early-stage conservative treatment options for preventing bunions:
Smart shoe selection — Pick out footwear with a roomy, round toe box to avoid rubbing on the insides of your shoes and overlapping of the toes. Select shoes that fit well and provide comfort, protection, and adequate support. Avoid pointy or heeled shoes.
Use orthotics and other devices — Over the counter or custom-made orthotics can help relieve pressure off your bunion. Toe spacers, braces, and bunions splints can also be used to help correct alignment of your big toe and reduce stress on your big toe.
Start physical therapy exercises — You may want to try regular exercises for bunion relief and prevention. Exercises like toe curls, toe spread-out, toe circles, marble/towel pick up, and ball role can help relieve bunion pain, improve flexibility and mobility, and increase strength and function of the big toe.
The type of treatment depends on the severity of the bunion. At Stuto Foot Specialist Podiatry, Dr. Joseph C. Stuto, Dr. Joseph A. Stuto, Dr. Lisa Fuchs, and Dr. Momna Younas provide expert treatment for bunions and other foot and ankle disorders. You can call our Brooklyn - Heights, NY, office at (718) 624-7537 or Brooklyn, NY, office at (718) 567-1403, and schedule a consultation with our team of board-certified podiatrists.