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How Can I Prevent My Bunions From Getting Worse?

How Can I Prevent My Bunions From Getting Worse?

At first, a bunion isn’t more than a cosmetic annoyance. But, if you let it worsen, the toe joint misalignment causing that bony bump can turn into a major problem. Your bunion might cause you pain with each step and make it impossible to wear certain types of shoes, for example.

If you have a bunion, you want to do what you can to prevent it from becoming a bigger issue. We can help. Christopher Vittori, DPM, and Ameet Thakrar, DPM, specialize in bunion management.  From our Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist offices in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois, we can work with you to develop a plan to manage any discomfort while slowing the progression of your bunion. 

For many people, that means deploying these tactics to prevent a bunion from getting worse: 

#1: Make smart shoe choices

Bunions usually develop because of pressure applied to the side of your big toe. Wearing snug shoes once or twice won’t cause this issue, but years of opting for shoes that squeeze your toe box absolutely plays a role in getting a bunion. 

Fortunately, it’s not too late to choose the right shoes. Adjusting your footwear now so that it doesn’t apply pressure to your big toes goes a long way toward preventing the bunion from getting worse. Look for shoes with a roomy toe box (like many athletic shoes and clogs) or ones that have soft sides or no sides at all, like sandals. As a general rule, stay away from shoes with pointed toes. 

#2: Address inflammation

The toe joint misalignment that causes your bunion can get irritated, resulting in swelling. That makes shoes fit more snugly, undoing the progress you’re trying to make with your shoe choices. 

If you notice that your bunion looks red or swollen, apply an ice pack for 15 minutes. Always keep a towel or some other barrier between your skin and the ice. 

You might also try nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and any accompanying discomfort. 

#3: Cushion the bunion

To protect the bunion and avoid added pressure on it, you may want to apply a bunion pad before wearing close-toed shoes. If you choose this option, it’s important to make sure that the widest part of your foot has ample space in your shoe, even with the bunion pad. 

We can make it easier to cushion your bunion. With specialized orthotics, which are essentially insoles you slip into your shoes, we can pad the bunion while helping your foot strike the ground in such a way that pressure on it is minimized. 

#4: Try splinting or toe spacers

With toe spacers or a splint, you can move your big toe into better alignment, alleviating some of the discomfort caused by the bunion. This won’t permanently straighten your toe, but it can help you manage the issue. 

Clearly, you have several options to explore to manage your bunion pain and prevent the issue from worsening. To get a personalized plan tailored to your specific feet, call or schedule an appointment online with our team at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist today.

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