Whether due to injury, overuse or a medical condition, foot pain can be a frustrating experience which makes walking and even just standing more difficult. Bunions are a common source of foot pain from which about 30% of older adults suffer. Luckily, this condition is treatable with help from your Philadelphia, PA podiatrist.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is a bony growth located at the base of the big toe. The bunion grows outward towards the inside of the foot, causing a lump. As it grows, the bunion pushes the big toe toward the smaller toes, eventually causing the foot to deform. Due to its location, the bunion takes the brunt of the body’s weight, causing pain, swelling and irritation. Additionally, the bunion’s shape causes rubbing against the shoe. Though the cause of bunions varies, it is widely agreed that narrow, tight and high-heeled shoes contribute to their growth, along with genetics.
How can I tell if I have a bunion?
Bunions characteristically present themselves as a large lump on the inside of the foot below the big toe. However, there are other symptoms of bunions which include:
- pain around the lump
- swelling or irritation around the lump
- soreness in the front part of the foot
- reduced range of motion in the big toe
- calluses around the big toe
How are bunions treated in Philadelphia?
Many cases of bunions simply need proper monitoring to prevent them from becoming larger. Wearing shoes with a wide toe box to accommodate the shape of the bunion decreases the chance of irritation. Avoiding high-heeled or narrow dress shoes also helps decrease the odds of the bunion growing. Icing and elevating the foot once or twice a day alongside over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen helps relieve swelling. Your doctor may recommend prescription orthotics to help evenly distribute your body weight onto your foot. In severe cases, bunion surgery removes the whole growth and realigns the toes.
For more information on bunions, please contact your doctor at The Foot and Ankle Group in Philadelphia, PA. Call (215) 332-5300 to speak with an associate about scheduling your appointment today!