People who suffer from bunions know the constant irritation they can cause. They can rub against shoes, causing pain with every step. You may find yourself changing shoe types or sizes to accommodate this condition. Our team at Island Foot Clinics is here to provide some helpful information on this challenging condition. We serve various locations, including Victoria, BC, and Kelowna, BC, and would be happy to get you the help you need.
How Can You Fix Bunions Without Surgery?
Soaking May Help
Some people struggling with pain from bunions find that soaking their feet in lukewarm water can help improve their comfort levels. Be careful not to scald yourself in this process. You’ll want to aim for a water temperature that’s safe for your skin, so you don’t risk doing more harm than good.
Choose Your Shoes Carefully
Shoes that are too tight around the toes are considered one of the primary causes of this condition. Cowboy boots or high heels may be especially risky if you spend a lot of time wearing them. When possible, try to avoid shoes with a narrow toe box or sloping footbeds.
By wearing shoes with a wide toe box and plenty of good support, you may be able to prevent this condition or improve your symptoms if you’re already battling the condition.
Try a Cold Compress
An ice pack or small package of frozen vegetables like peas can be used to reduce inflammation and pain. This may also help you manage the size of the bunion.
As with the foot soak, when you apply the cold compress you should do so carefully. Don’t hold ice packs or frozen items directly to the skin; this could lead to a cold burn. Wrap your frozen item in a tea towel before application, and consider only applying it for about five minutes at a time.
Protect Your Feet
The last thing you want when you’re dealing with this condition is to suffer additional trauma to the area. Do your best to protect your feet during this time. This could help you better heal from or manage the condition. It can also help you maintain your ability to walk comfortably.
What if At-Home Treatment Doesn’t Work?
Sometimes managing this condition at home isn’t enough to resolve the issue. If your symptoms are getting in the way of your daily life, work, or hobbies, it may be time to consider professional help. Our team is pleased to offer minimally invasive surgical techniques that can help you improve both the function and appearance of the affected area.
What Is the Treatment Process Like?
Treatment usually begins with a physical examination. An imaging study such as a bone scan, X-ray, CT, or MRI may also be carried out depending on the need or the patient’s request.
If it’s determined that your condition is biomechanical in nature, meaning there’s some kind of physical concern contributing to the bunion’s development, functional orthotics can be used to customize your treatment. It can also be used to help prevent the issue from developing again. Cutting-edge technology can then be applied to carry out the treatment in a way that’s efficient and as easy on the patient as possible.
What Causes This Condition?
Age and Arthritis
While anyone can suffer from this condition, it’s especially common for seniors. Arthritis can also contribute to or worsen the issue. Since seniors are more likely to have or develop arthritis, that puts them at additional risk for bunion development.
A Change in the Feet
Pregnancy or weight gain can put additional pressure on the feet due to the feet having to support more weight and possibly changing in size. During these times, it’s important to make sure your shoes are still fitting properly, so you don’t put your feet under additional stress.
Poor Biomechanics or Various Hereditary Factors
Excess pronation of the subtalar joint can contribute to bunion formation, especially if the person has a short first metatarsal. That means sometimes patients can inherit an increased risk of this condition due to the structure of their feet.
These structural issues can force weight onto the medial forefoot area and interfere with healthy weight-bearing foot functions.
There are several neuromuscular conditions that can increase your risk level. Patients with cerebral palsy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, or multiple sclerosis could be at a greater risk due to these conditions affecting the nervous activity and movement of the feet.
If someone has injured a part of their foot, they may compensate for this injury by putting more weight on a different section of the foot. For this and other reasons, any injury can increase your risk levels.
If you consistently force your feet into ill-fitting shoes that squeeze your toes or cause excessive friction, you may be putting yourself at more risk of developing a bunion.
Benefits of Professional Treatment
Trying to fix this issue at home may provide some help and relief. That said, if you’ve been trying various at-home treatments to no avail, professional treatment may be the right call for you. In a professional setting, you can receive customized instructions and care to give you the best chance at lasting success.
An untreated bunion may eventually lead to hammertoe, a different toe deformity. As the bunion forces the big toe to angle inwards towards your other toes, it can force the other toes to curve upwards and make room. Hammertoe usually involves the second, third, or fourth toes. This bending of the middle joint is what makes the toes resemble a hammer.
While the toes usually remain flexible at first, eventually, they could become fixed in this position. If you have a bunion that is forcing your big toe out of place, treating this concern can help keep your other toes healthy and functional.
Chronic pain can take a physical and emotional toll. One of the best benefits professional treatment can help provide is improving the patient’s daily comfort levels.
If you have an active job that requires you to be on your feet, this condition could make that requirement very painful and difficult. Likewise, if you enjoy active hobbies like hiking or jogging, this condition could interfere with your ability to do what you love.
Treatment can help people get back to their daily routines and their favourite activities.
Why Our Team?
We Serve Victoria, BC, and Kelowna, BC, Amongst Other Locations
We have a wide range of locations that are convenient for everyone in BC. For those with painful conditions or limited transportation options, this can make the entire treatment process easier and less stressful.
Compassion and Experience
Our team of physicians and surgeons combine their experience and knowledge with compassion and a drive to match each person with the best possible treatment for their needs. Finding you a lasting solution to your foot or ankle pain is what we strive for, while maintaining a welcoming and understanding environment.
If you’re looking for lasting relief, professional help is often the best way to achieve that. We have experience with this condition and would be happy to talk with you about your treatment options. Our goal is not only to provide an effective solution, but to also help you prevent future recurrences. Reach out to us at Island Foot Clinics today to set up your consultation.