Bunions — which are bony bumps at the base of the big toe — can cause pain and embarrassment. And while bunions are treatable, there’s one thing better than treatment: not getting them in the first place.
Kyle Durfey, DPM, and Brian Hiapo, DPM, at Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center in Laveen, Arizona, are experts in treating bunions. However, they’d prefer that you avoid getting them in the first place. In this blog, they provide three tips to help you avoid getting bunions.
What are bunions?
Bunions — which are bony growths on the joint of the big toe — develop over time. Bunions occur when the joint at the base of the big toe swells and forces the toe inward. The swelling can occur due to inflammatory conditions — such as arthritis — foot injuries, and pressure on the toe — such as from restrictive shoes — among other causes.
And while genetics may make your foot more susceptible to the condition, there are things you can do to help your foot stay bunion-free.
1: Pay attention to your feet
Over the years, you might notice some changes in your feet. If you have a family history of bunions, keep an eye on the alignment of your big toe. If you notice it starting to point inward or you observe a bulge developing along the outside of your big toe joint, make an appointment with Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center.
At our office, we can help you implement small changes — such as adding orthotics to your shoes — to prevent further misalignment in your foot bones. This step may prevent bunions and a host of other podiatric issues.
Also, if you notice foot issues arise, address them. For example, if you see your big toe joint rubbing or getting irritated, use some moleskin or another cushion to protect that area of your toe.
2: Wear well-fitting shoes
Women face a greater risk for bunions. This is because women are more likely to wear tight-fitting shoes or spend a lot of time in heels. Wearing shoes that pinch or put pressure on your feet can take a toll over time.
To protect your feet, choose shoes with sufficient room in them. You should feel like you could comfortably walk all day in the shoes. If your feet hurt shortly after putting on the shoes, it’s a sign they’re not doing your feet any favors and could be putting you at risk for developing bunions.
If you absolutely have to wear uncomfortable shoes — such as for a work presentation — bring another pair of shoes to put on after your presentation.
3: Give your feet a workout
Strengthening your feet will give them extra support via stronger muscles. This, in turn, can help prevent bones from moving out of alignment. To exercise muscles you may not use on a regular basis, try calf raises and picking up small objects with your foot.
These tips will help you monitor your feet and prevent bunions. If you notice any changes in your feet — including discomfort or a change in their shape — don’t hesitate to talk to Dr. Hiapo or Dr. Durfey. To learn more about preventing bunions or to get expert bunion treatment, book an appointment online or over the phone with Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center today.