Whether you have genetic influences, birth defects, arthritis, or foot injuries, bunions throw off the look of your big toe with a bulge at the base. That could be the least of your issues though since the joint could be swollen, red, and sore too. The deformation of the joints may cause corns and calluses between toes, and could also restrict the movement of your big toe. You may suffer intermittent or chronic pain.
The precise reason why bunions form isn’t known, though there are plenty of theories. Tight, narrow shoes and high heels might contribute to the original problem according to some experts. These types of footwear can definitely be a problem if you already have a bunion.
Errol Gindi, D.P.M. specializes in bunion treatment, making your life easier and more comfortable around your bunion problem. Part of living with bunions is understanding the nature of the joint issue as well as knowing how to make wise choices for your feet. Here’s what you need to know.
How bunions form
Though the reasons why bunions form in the first place are uncertain, the process follows a common path. The joint at the base of your big toe is essentially out of place, creating abnormal stresses and movements. This misalignment forms the characteristic lump on the side of your foot at the site of the joint.
While most bunions affect the big toe, the same process can occur on the other side of your foot, affecting the baby toe. You can suffer the same symptoms there, too.
Dr. Gindi can diagnose your bunion with a physical exam, and you’ll likely have an X-ray as well, to help determine the best treatment options.
In most cases, bunion treatment starts conservatively. If you’ve been suffering from pressure and pain, Dr. Gindi’s first recommendation may be a change in footwear. The bunion itself may not be causing your discomfort. It could be a matter of your shoes adding to your joint misalignment.
Likewise, other bunion relief strategies, such as pads and cushions, may need certain types of footwear to accommodate them. Choosing roomy shoes with an expansive toe box is typically always a starting point for bunion treatment.
The best footwear to reduce bunion pain
There’s no single shoe type that’s best for treating bunions, since outside factors influence footwear choices, such as weather and dress codes.
You should be able to wiggle your toes in a suitably sized shoe. If you feel the front of the shoe with the end of your big toe, move up at least one size.
Shoe width may be something you’ve never considered before, but a shoe that’s not wide enough for your foot puts pressure on the bunion. Shoe width should match the widest part of your foot.
Avoid shoes with little cushioning or “give” since these can irritate your bunion. Natural, breathable materials are the best overall for foot health, but soft synthetics are also bunion-friendly.
Avoid elevated heels, since these force your foot down and forward, increasing pressure on the toes.
Your primary aim is comfort. Bypass any shoe that irritates your bunion when you try it on. There are plenty of styles that are bunion friendly, so you can have style along with a pain-free fit. When it’s not enough, contact Errol Gindi, D.P.M. in Valley Stream or Hicksville New York. You can call the nearest office directly or book your appointment online. Schedule your consultation today.