Watch Out for that Painful Bunion Bump!
By Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates
May 12, 2014
Tags: bunion treatment  
Foot pain and discomfort caused by bunions can be a real bother. Usually non-threatening, this common foot condition is often unattractive, and when left untreated can lead to infection and other health problems. Luckily, there are preventative steps and treatmentsbunions available to get your feet back to their healthy state. At Idaho Foot & Ankle Associates, our podiatrists provide Boise residents with bunion treatment and prevention options.  Let’s take a look at what bunions are.
Understanding Bunions in Boise
Bunions are typically more serious than corns or calluses, and usually appear as a bony prominence over the big toe joint. This can cause the big toe to bend towards the other toes, throwing the bones in your feet out of alignment, which causes pain, inflammation and redness.  Bunions can form for various reasons, but typically develop as a result of poor fitting footwear, such as narrow-toed shoes or high-heels. Individuals with flat feet or have a history of bunions in their family are also more prone to bunions.
Your joint carries a lot of weight while walking, which causes the bunions to be extremely painful if left untreated.  The metatarsophalangeal joint, which is where the bunion forms, may become stiff and sore.  This can make wearing shoes difficult as well.  Some symptoms of bunions include:
·       Development of a firm bump on the outside edge of the foot
·       Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the MTP joint
·       Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the first and second toes
·       Restricted or painful motion of the big toe
Treating Your Bunion
Start by ditching any tight fitting shoes to reduce pressure on the bunion. Because bunions tend to be more serious and painful, it’s often advisable to see a podiatrist for proper examination of the severity of your bunion.  Our Boise and Treasure Valley podiatrists will recommend the best treatment to reduce the pain and size of your bunion. Ice, padding, physical therapy and foot orthotics are common treatment options available to heal bunions. And, if these conservative approaches aren’t working, surgery could be a viable option to correct your foot’s alignment and remove the bunion.
Since bunions are bone deformities, they cannot be resolved on their own. The first goal of bunion treatment is to relieve pressure and pain that is caused by irritations, while the second is to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement.  Some common methods used for treating your bunion and reducing pressure include:
·       The use of protective padding to eliminate the friction against shoes and help alleviate inflammation and skin problems.
·       Removal of corns and calluses on the foot.
·       Changing to carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and not contribute toward its growth. 
·       Orthotic devices to help stabilize the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
·       Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
·       Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly.
When early treatments fail, or your bunion begins to worsen over time, a consultation with one of our Treasure Valley and Boise, ID podiatrists will be needed. It is important to not ignore foot pain, as it can worsen over time and prevent you from living your day-to-day life.