Bunions are ugly and cause foot pain, potentially leading to trouble walking or even standing. Bunions are bony bumps that form on the sides of your feet where your big toe joins the rest of the foot. Bunions sometimes also form on the outer edge of your foot where your pinkie toe joins your foot.
Bunions form when your toe bends toward your other toes, pushing its joint out toward the edge of your foot. It creates a bony bump and can lead to friction and reddened callused skin. Eventually, the pressure and friction from your shoes will cause pain and you’ll feel pain when you put pressure on your foot, like when you take a step when you walk, jog, skip or run.
While hereditary plays a significant role in whether or not you’ll develop bunions, there are steps you can take to protect your feet and potentially avoid developing this painful foot conditions. We’re offering our top 8 foot care tips to protect your feet.
1. Wear the right shoes
Wearing shoes that fit correctly is very important to protecting your feet. You should look for shoes with wide and deep toe boxes, low or flat heels and good arch supports. You should avoid high heels or shoes with narrow pointed toes. This allows enough room for your feet to sit correctly in the shoe, without pinching your toes or putting unnecessary pressure on the delicate joints of your feet, which could lead to alignment issues and bunions.
2. Don’t wear shoes at home
Walk around with bare feet when you’re at home. Your feet can stretch to their natural proportions and positions. This will help to strengthen your feet and toes, improve your balance, and maintain proper alignment of your metatarsals.
3. Address pronation issues
If you overpronate or supinate when you walk, your abnormal gait can put too much pressure on your big toe joint. You can address pronation abnormalities with custom orthotics, physical therapy, or treatments like HyProCure® that correct your stride.
4. Custom orthotics
Speaking of custom orthotics, if you have bunions, wearing orthotics that are custom made for your feet will help to reduce pressure on your bunion and correct any gait issued caused by the bony bump.
5. Wear bunion splints
When you notice a bunion developing, you can try to correct the alignment of your metatarsals and toe bones by wearing a bunion splint. Similar to foot slings and toe spacers, these devices gently hold your foot in the correct alignment, retraining your bones and muscles to hold the correct positions. Bunion splints are typically so comfortable you can wear them while you sleep.
6. Maintain a healthy weight
The heavier you are, the more pressure you exert on your feet. This increases the risk of pressure pushing your big toe joint out of alignment and causing a bunion to form.
7. Change your exercise regimen
If you’re a runner or really into Zumba, but your bunion makes it too painful to take a step, try something new. Exercise is very important to maintaining a healthy weight and has a myriad of other health benefits. Instead of activities that put lots of pressure on your feet, try biking, swimming or using an elliptical machine instead of a treadmill. For the love of your feet (and knees, back and hips) take it easy on the running.
8. Minimize your pain
If you are developing a bunion and suffer from foot pain, you can apply ice and take anti-inflammatory medication. You should also see you trusted New Hampshire podiatrist.
Foot pain should be taken seriously. If you can’t stand or walk, your quality of life will be severely affected. At Nagy Footcare, we want you to understand the importance of healthy feet and to provide the care and treatment you need to maintain a healthy and active life.
If you have questions about bunions and foot care, contact us today to schedule an appointment. At Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.