Can You Prevent Bunions?

If you’ve got a bunion, it’s probably been developing slowly over the years and gradually getting worse.

Bunions cause burning and numbness, soreness and pain, inflammation and redness. The part you can’t easily visualize is that the actual structure of your big toe joint is changing. The bones are becoming misaligned. Your big toe can become so malformed that it actually pushes the other four toes out of alignment, too. Walking and wearing shoes becomes difficult, if not downright agonizing.

Why do we get bunions?

  1. There’s evidence to suggest that bunions are a result of a genetic mutation – so, you inherit the tendency to develop them.
  2. Structural defects – pre-existing conditions like flat feet, overly flexible joints or other mechanical issue makes a person more prone to developing a bunion.
  3. Diseases such as arthritis or gout can leave the joint vulnerable to misalignment.

Are bunions preventable?

Well, you can’t fight the course of genetics in your feet – but there are certainly some things you can do to treat a bunion at home and slow down its progression:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes that provide a lot of width for your toes. Narrow toe boxes and pointed toe styles will only aggravate a bunion. It’s not enough to be sure there’s enough width – make sure there’s enough length, too. You may need to size up.
  2. Many people find that even a low heel puts too much pressure on their toes and they must stick with supportive flats.
  3. Spend less time on your feet. Take frequent breaks from standing and walking and ice the affected area.
  4. Consult the expert podiatrists at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland in Solon, Ohio for more relief from the pain of bunions, including corticosteroid injections, custom orthotics, exercises, splints, and medications.

If none of these conservative measures do enough to ease your symptoms, you may be a candidate for bunion surgery. Both Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann – members of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons – would be happy to meet with you and discuss your options. Call us at (440) 903-1041 at our office in Cuyahoga County or contact us online.