While some aches and pains end up going away on their own with a little rest and care, a number of health conditions tend to get worse if active treatment measures aren’t taken. That sentiment is especially true for an issue like bunions, which can be problematic because bunions are typically one of the most ignored foot and ankle conditions. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at why it’s so important not to ignore a bunion, and what types of steps you can take to prevent a bigger bunion issue down the road.

Don’t Put Off Bunion Treatment

As we alluded to in the introduction, bunions are a condition that tend to get worse if ignored. That’s because it’s our everyday actions that tend to cause bunion onset in the first place. The most common underlying cause of bunion formation is tight or ill-fitting shoes, so if you ignore a bunion and continue to shove your feet into shoes with a narrow toe box, your big toe joint is only going to shift further out of place.

One reason why people don’t always seek bunion treatment in the early stages is because the deformity isn’t all that painful. Our feet are complex and resilient, and even if your big toe joint starts to shift out of place, our feet can adapt and shift how pressure is dispersed to help mitigate pain. That may sound like a good thing, but eventually the joint is going to shift to the point where pain develops or becomes more severe, and by that time treatment will be less effective. Even though your bunion may not be painful right now, this is also the time when simple conservative treatments are most successful, so the longer you wait, the less likely it is that non-operative methods provide long-term relief.

So not only will a bunion likely continue to worsen without treatment, but treatment success likelihood fades as the joint becomes more misaligned. It’s a self-defeating cycle that can be difficult to break free from, so you need to avoid falling into this trap by treating bunions as soon as you expect an issue.

How To Treat Bunions At An Earlier Stage

If you are dealing with a mild or asymptomatic bunion, you can take some simple steps to treat the issue and prevent continued progression. Here’s a look at some of the ways to treat bunions at an early stage:

  • Shoes Changes – Since poor-fitting shoes are the most common underlying cause of bunion onset, changing your shoewear is a must if you want to prevent worsening symptoms. Switch to a comfortable shoe with a wide toe box that doesn’t put abnormal pressure on your big toe joint.
  • Physical Therapy – Physical therapy won’t help shift your toe joint back into the correct location, but it can help you maintain flexibility and range of motion in the joint that could be affected by the misalignment.
  • Weight Loss – Losing weight will take some pressure off your feet and stress off the big toe joint, which can slow or even stop joint shifting when coupled with other interventions.
  • Shoe Inserts – Bunion padding or orthotic inserts can also help to take pressure off the big toe joint and slow misalignment progression.

Finally, if conservative techniques fail to provide relief or your bunion deformity becomes moderate to severe, it may be time to consider a minimally invasive corrective procedure. Dr. McDonald and his team can walk you through your surgical options and get you back on your feet in no time with a realigned big toe joint.

To learn more about your treatment options for painful or early stage bunions, reach out to Dr. McDonald’s office sooner rather than later. The earlier you intervene, the better the chance simple treatments can provide long-term relief. Give our office a call today at (860) 244-8889 for more information.

No Comments

Post A Comment