How Can I Prevent My Bunions From Getting Worse?

How Can I Prevent My Bunions From Getting Worse?

If you have a painful bump on your big toe, this might be a bunion. You will find several possible causes for this, but early diagnosis and intervention is important so it doesn’t get worse.

Here at Intermountain Foot & Ankle in Colorado Springs, Colorado, we proudly offer treatment for your bunion. Our team is led by Kerry Berg, DPM, who specializes in foot and ankle problems and is dedicated to getting you back on your feet as quickly as possible.

Symptoms of bunions

When you have foot pain, it can be hard to identify what’s causing it. If you have a painful lump on your big toe, bunions may be to blame. Also known as hallux valgus, bunions refer to painful bony growths on the side of your big toe that can even cause deformation over time. 

In addition to a painful bump on your big toe, bunions can cause various symptoms, including:

There are other conditions that can cause the above symptoms, including gout, so it’s still important to speak to Dr. Berg if you’re worried you might have a bunion. 

Causes of bunions

Bunions can develop for different reasons. While you will not always be able to stop it from happening, multiple factors can increase the likelihood of you developing a bunion.

Aging

You are more likely to develop a bunion with age, and the older you get, the more likely you will be prone to bunions. Usually, you will find that bunions don't develop until adulthood, and bunions are rarely found in children. 

Genes

Another cause for bunions can simply be genetics. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do in this area. If you have family members who suffer from bunions, you are more likely to develop them yourself. If this is the case, it might be worth discussing with Dr. Berg ways to reduce your likelihood of developing bunions.

Abnormal toe growth

Bunions are often caused when your big toe begins to grow in a certain way that causes the toe to press against the other toes. This pressure then causes a bunion to form. If you find your big toe is growing against your other toes, reach out to us, even if a bunion hasn't started to grow yet. 

Shoes

Now, this is one area where you can influence the outcome a bit: shoes. If you often wear tight shoes or high heels, this can cause the bunion to develop or make an existing bunion worse. In this case, you can try to reduce the amount you wear these types of shoes or save them for special occasions. 

Preventing bunions from getting worse

While some of the above factors are out of your control, it’s important to know how you can avoid making an existing bunion worse. The two main factors you can control at home are your shoewear and over-the-counter medication. 

We already mentioned the option of wearing loose shoes and reducing high heel wear. Tight shoes and heels can rub against your bunion, making the pain and inflammation worse. Picking comfortable, roomy shoes is a great way to ensure your bunion doesn't get worse.

If you already wear loose shoes, you can add additional shoe support or cushioning inside your shoes to help reduce the progression of the bunion. Look out for bunion-specific products in the store, or speak to our team to find the best products for you. 

Additionally, you can take drugstore anti-inflammatory medication to help with the pain. This can also have the benefit of reducing further inflammation of the bunion, which can help prevent it from getting bigger. 

If you suffer from a bunion, don’t worry. We offer a range of effective treatment options including custom-designed orthotics, personalized stretching exercises, padding, or even minimally invasive bunion surgery. Dr. Berg is a board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, so you can be sure you’re in good hands.  

Ready to get treatment for your bunions? Call Intermountain Foot & Ankle today at 719-873-8973 to book an appointment or fill out a contact form here.

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