Have you noticed that your feet have been changing over the years? Are they wider than they once were, primarily around the big toe area? If so, you may be dealing with the presence of a bunion, an often painful foot deformity that arises from overuse and pressure from too tight of shoes. Fortunately, your Phoenix podiatrist, Dr. Michael Dershowitz, can be your local resource for bunion treatment!
How bunions can impact you
If you have noticed that your big toe is just now pointing closer to your other toes, and that bony bump now exists on the inside of your foot by the base of your big toe, you probably have a bunion. This means that your first metatarsal foot bone has shifted sideways, causing your toes to move and the bones at the big toe joint to bulge. Bunions are one of the most common foot deformities that people experience, particularly as they age.
Sometimes, bunions just change the look of your foot and how your shoes fit, but refrain from causing any painful symptoms. Other times, bunions will change the look of your foot, and also cause a great deal of pain in the bones of your big toe and foot. In these cases, the pain is often the sharpest in the bulging toe joint.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most common bunion symptoms are:
- Pain in the bulging toe joint, especially when wearing tight shoes.
- Thick, hardened skin on the ball of the foot.
- Redness, swelling, and inflammation of the big toe joint.
- Difficulty moving the big toe.
- Corns developing on the bunion or on other toes.
Seeking bunion treatment
Bunion pain can be unbearable, and even become chronic, if left untreated. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, it may be time to seek bunion treatment. The type of treatment offered depends on several factors, including the severity of the deformity and any other medical conditions a patient may have.
Some possible treatments include:
- Wearing properly fitted shoes. You always want to wear shoes that are wide enough and support your foot properly.
- Using toe splints. These serve as spacers between your toes and are designed to help maintain proper joint alignment while slowing the progression of the bunion.
- Taking over-the-counter pain medication. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), both pills and creams, can help ease bunion pain and inflammation.
For very severe, unrelenting bunion symptoms, surgery from our Phoenix podiatrist may be the best bunion treatment. Bunion surgery corrects the bone/joint alignment in the foot and can relieve symptoms.
Need relief? Give us a call
The only way to determine which bunion treatment will suit your needs is to consult a professional. Call our Phoenix office today at (602) 340-8686 to schedule a consultation with your podiatrist, Dr. Dershowitz!