Bunions are a common foot condition in which the joint of the big toe or small toe pushes against the other toes, causing misalignment and a bump.
The misalignment progresses slowly. In the early phases, it doesn’t cause any symptoms besides the bump. However, as the condition continues to develop, pain and numbness can occur. While there’s no known cause for bunions, they tend to appear more often in women and in individuals who have first-degree relatives suffering from bunions.
Our specialist with decades of experience as a podiatrist, Dr. Errol Gindi, shares what treatment options are available for your bunions.
Bunions are not bone growths, even though they may look like it. The growth you see next to your big toe is actually the joint that pushes outward. Customized orthotic devices can prevent your big toe from pushing against your other toes and stop the progression of the misalignment.
One study found that wearing orthotic devices (insole with toe separator) for a 3-month period decreased the pain and discomfort associated with bunions, even though it didn’t change their appearance.
Women are more likely to develop bunions, especially as they age. Although the hormonal makeup of women makes them more prone to developing bunions, tight-fitting shoes commonly worn by women can also force the toes into unnatural positions. So if your shoes are a bit pointy and cram your toes together, you may have to look for shoes with a wider fit.
Nighttime toe splints
At night, even when you aren’t doing any physical activities, your big or small toe will push against your other toes. To keep your toes in proper alignment while you sleep, you can wear a nighttime toe splint.
Conservative methods work well at preventing the progression of bunions. However, once you have a misalignment, the base of your toe can’t revert to its initial position. A bunionectomy can remove the bunion, but it’s only recommended if the misalignment is large enough to cause severe pain and discomfort.
Avoid bunion complications
Bunions don’t just prevent you from wearing the shoes you like. If you leave them untreated, bunions can cause severe pain when walking and standing. As the condition progresses, you may also develop bursitis (inflammation of the small sacs near your joints) or hammertoe (a painful deformation of the toes).
If you live in Valley Stream, New York, contact Dr. Errol Gindi to schedule an appointment to stop the progression of your bunions or to completely remove them.