Non-Surgical Bunion Treatment In New York City
There are several things you can do to treat the bunions on feet without surgery. Because a bunion is a structural problem, the conservative treatment is centered on symptom relief and not likely to reduce the size of the bunion, but may eliminate any associated pain. Most people with bunions will try some simple measures to deal with their bunions before considering bunion surgery.
Bunion Treatment: Basic Things You Can Do
- Wear appropriate fitting shoes.
- Avoid crowding of your toes in your shoes.
- Avoid high heel shoes.
- Having your shoe stretched – “spot stretch”.
- Cutting an “X” in the shoe overlying the bunion.
- Try to pad the shoe.
- Use a bunion pad to protect the bunion from rubbing on the shoe.
- Try a splint to hold the big toe over.
- Try a spacer between the big toe and the second toe.
- Use an over the counter insole to better align the foot.
- Calf stretches.
- Ice the area (avoid if you have circulation or sensation problems).
- Change your activities.
Over-the-Counter Bunion Products
- Bunion Pads. Padding the area directly over the bunion is an effective method of decreasing the direct pressure that is placed on the area. Simple silicone pads are useful and products that wrap around the the big toe may help keep them in place. Bunion pads are ideal for people whose bunions get worse from shoe pressure.
- Toe Spacers. Placing a spacer between the first and second toes is an excellent method for improving the alignment of the big toe. This is ideal for mild bunions and may particular help thwart bunion progression so long as spacers are used regularly.
- Night Splint. This is best method to attack the structural problem of the bunion by splinting the big toe over. These device are designed to be worn at night for several hours. Theoretically they counteract the muscular imbalances within the foot that lead to the bunion formation.
- Shoe Inserts. Arch supports don’t act directly on the bunion but are thought to be effective in treating bunions by better aligning the foot. Excessive flattening (or medically termed pronation) may be a contributing factor in bunion formation. Over-the-counter inserts may a be a good place to start, and more advanced cases may benefit from a pair of doctor prescribed inserts that are molded directly to your foot.
Doctor Interventions For Bunion Treatment
- Prescription Anti-inflammatory Pain Medication. Since bunion pain is often the result of inflammation of the underlying subluxed joint and direct pressure, medication to lessen inflammation may be beneficial. Some people with bunions use pain medication intermittently unless arthritis is also present.
- Injection(s). Steroid injections have been know to be effective in treating some symptoms of bunions, especially when the area overlying the bunion is particularly inflamed (a condition called bursitis). Injections will do nothing to correct the the structural bunion deformity. Sometimes injections can be injected into the joint, but is done much less frequently.
- Physical Therapy. A dedicated program to strengthen the muscles of the foot may help limit bunion progression.
When To Consider Bunion Surgery
There is no defined time frame for which one should try some or all of the above measures before deciding on bunion surgery. The decision for bunion surgery is different for everyone and a personal choice. Some people have extreme pain that drives them to go forward with surgery whereas others are limited in their activity. Some people elect surgery when the foot becomes disfigured.
Other Common Questions
Can You Prevent A Bunion From Getting Worse?
Maybe. With proper shoes and insoles you may be able to halt the progression. Also, toe spacers and night splints may also help limit bunion progression.
How Bad Can A Bunion Get?
Your bunion may stay the same size it is now or progress. It is impossible to tell which bunions will progress. Some people with ligamentous laxity may be more prone to bunions becoming larger.
What Does An End-Stage Bunion Look Like?