A bunion is one of the most common toe abnormalities, and it is characterized by a bending of the big toe laterally into the other toes. When a similar condition affects the pinky toe, it is called a bunionette. Bunions tend to develop slowly and don’t typically cause problems in the initial stages except for the appearance of a large bump on the side or top of the toe. If left untreated, complications like overlapping toes and blisters can cause considerable pain and discomfort, and surgery may be necessary to straighten the toe.
4 ways to treat bunions without surgery include:
- Physical therapy exercises—A variety of stretching and strengthening exercises can be performed to keep the big toe joint and tendons flexible. They can provide pain relief and help to improve strength and flexibility after bunion surgery.
- Wear properly fitted shoes with a wide toe box—Wear shoes with a wide toe box and deeper heel cup to prevent rubbing and provide room for orthotic braces and inserts. A wide toe box will also help prevent the friction of your big toe rubbing on your footwear, which can cause painful corns to develop on the bunion.
- Isolating pads and cushions—Pads and cushioning devices are available to isolate the bunion and any corns that may have formed.
- Custom orthotics and braces—A specially made bunion brace can be used while sleeping to spread the toes apart. Over time, the toe will gradually straighten.
For advanced bunions that don’t respond to these methods, surgery by your foot doctor may be required to straighten the toe. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.