One of the realities of ageing is that our body starts to change in ways that we could never anticipate.
Our feet can change as we age, often due to cartilage, tissue, and tendons becoming weaker and less flexible. These changes may not be visible on the exterior of your foot but can lead to painful conditions that limit your mobility.
One progressive foot condition that is visible is bunions. Bunions occur when the big toe leans inward, pushing out the joint to create a painful bump on the foot’s interior side. This deformity may be small, but it can have significant implications for your foot’s mobility and health.
Today, we’ll discuss bunions in detail, including how to get rid of bunions once they start to become painful.
What is a Bunion?
Have you ever noticed that the large joint of your big toe is starting to look larger than it used to? If you have this bump, and your big toe is starting to point inwards instead of straight, you likely have a bunion.
Also called hallux valgus, this condition may not hurt at first but will eventually cause pain, redness, and swelling, and may limit your movement as it pushes your big toe out of alignment.
Many people with bunions struggle to find shoes that will accommodate their big toe joint’s new shape. Conventional shoes can often pressure bunions, aggravate symptoms, and make it feel so sore it goes numb.
What Causes Bunions?
Many people blame tight-fitting or narrow shoes for bunions, but the truth is shoes can only exacerbate this condition. Shoes can’t cause bunions unless there are other factors at play.
Although there are still some questions about what causes bunions, doctors have narrowed down a few major risk factors.
Bunions occur because of the shape of our feet and the way that we walk and move. Genetics plays a role in controlling both the shape and mechanics of our feet, which means that if your parents and grandparents all had bunions, it’s more likely you’ll develop them as well.
How to Prevent Bunions: 8 Tips for Better Bunion Treatment
Bunions are progressive and will get worse over time if we don’t manage them carefully. People who wear tight-fitting shoes or high heels often blame their choice of footwear for their bunions.
The way we walk may also impact how our bunions progress and how painful and inconvenient the symptoms can be.
Learning how to prevent bunions from getting worse is key to ensuring your feet remain as strong as possible, so you can keep up healthy habits like running, walking, and all other forms of exercise. These tips will show you how simple practices can help prevent bunion symptoms from getting worse.
1.Ensure a proper shoe fit
Although doctors have concluded that most people who develop bunions do so because of their foot shape, it’s still essential to ensure that our shoes fit well.
Not every shoe brand fits the same way. Try on a few different brands to see how you like their fit. Then you can make the best choice, even if you end up making the final purchase online.
You shouldn’t have to go through a painful period of breaking in your shoes before they fit comfortably.
Instead of choosing initially painful shoes, look for shoes that are comfortable from the beginning. When we crowd our bunions or put them under pressure for hours every day, they will feel much more painful.
3.Buy shoes that fit all-day
Our feet’ size can change significantly throughout the day, as standing and walking for long periods can make our feet swollen. Instead of buying shoes that fit your feet only when they’re not active, go shoe shopping at night, when your feet are larger.
Bunion pads are small cushioning pieces placed around your bunion, so it doesn’t get inflamed or irritated by constant contact with your shoes. These pads are a vital part of a successful bunion treatment plan, especially if you cannot find shoes that fit well.
5.Buy shoes with a wide toe box
When you start developing a bunion, you’ll need to make sure that your shoes can accommodate your toes’ changing shape. Often, this means buying shoes with a wide toe box. To ensure you don’t constrict the bunion, the best shoes for bunions have enough room in the toe box.
6.Avoid high heels
High heels may look stylish, but they place an unnecessary amount of pressure on your toes. Their sleek shape also forces the toes to cluster together, which can aggravate your foot pain and cause your bunion to become inflamed.
7.Try foot soaks in Epsom salts
If your bunion is aching at the end of a long day, soak your feet in warm water with plenty of Epsom salts. Epsom salts help ease inflammation and reduce pain and swelling.
8.Custom shoe orthotics
Often, bunions occur because our regular walking gait mechanics push the big toe’s largest joint out of alignment. If the gait issue is not corrected, the bunion will continue to get worse.
Custom orthotics will ensure that your feet align well within your shoes and give you proper support. Once you stabilize your feet, standing, walking, and running won’t put as much pressure on your bunions.
Find the Best Shoes for Bunions at Orthotics Direct
If you’re looking for custom shoe orthotics that will support your feet and cushion your bunions simultaneously, explore Orthotics Direct. We carry various orthotics customized to your measurements and can take multiple issues into account, including painful bunions.
If you have questions about how our orthotics can support bunions, come find out more with us. Our years of experience in orthotic relief come from working with doctors and podiatrists directly before bringing our products to consumers like yourself.