Can Orthotics Help With Bunions?
A bunion, known medically as hallux valgus, is a bony deformity affecting the joint at the base of the big toe. This condition is characterized by the big toe angling outward towards the other smaller toes on the same foot. This deviation from the toe's natural alignment can lead to discomfort and pain, especially as it progresses. Bunions can manifest with various symptoms and associated issues. These may include pain, swelling, numbness, a burning sensation, or tingling around the bunion area. Footwear can exacerbate these symptoms, leading to discomfort. Additionally, hard, calloused, red, or painful skin may develop over the top of the bunion. Mobility can be restricted, with the big toe being particularly painful to move up and down. Bunions can also contribute to the development of hammertoes, corns, and calluses on the ball of the foot. These conditions can affect one's gait, causing instability while walking. Finding appropriate and comfortable shoes can become challenging due to the deformity and pain associated with bunions, further impacting daily activities and comfort. Orthotics cannot correct a bunion, but they can help with reducing pain in the big toe joint and slow its progression. Conditions such as flat feet can put more pressure on your bunion and wearing orthotics can redistribute that pressure. If you are experiencing pain from your bunion when walking or exercising, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist to discuss the use of custom-made orthotics for increased comfort and function.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is formed of swollen tissue or an enlargement of boney growth, usually located at the base joint of the toe that connects to the foot. The swelling occurs due to the bones in the big toe shifting inward, which impacts the other toes of the foot. This causes the area around the base of the big toe to become inflamed and painful.
Why Do Bunions Form?
Genetics – Susceptibility to bunions are often hereditary
Stress on the feet – Poorly fitted and uncomfortable footwear that places stress on feet, such as heels, can worsen existing bunions
How Are Bunions Diagnosed?
Doctors often perform two tests – blood tests and x-rays – when trying to diagnose bunions, especially in the early stages of development. Blood tests help determine if the foot pain is being caused by something else, such as arthritis, while x-rays provide a clear picture of your bone structure to your doctor.
How Are Bunions Treated?
- Refrain from wearing heels or similar shoes that cause discomfort
- Select wider shoes that can provide more comfort and reduce pain
- Anti-inflammatory and pain management drugs
- Orthotics or foot inserts
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Plano, Dallas, Prosper, Allen, Irving, Garland, Frisco, and Coppell, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.