About Foot Bunions
Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, are one of the more common foot problems. While certain shoe types undoubtedly exacerbate the problem (thus the reason more women suffer from the condition than men), bunions often occur because of a deformity located in the structure of the foot. Bunions tend to become worse with time. Foot solutions to bunions can be as simple as modification of footwear to a roomier, more cushioned shoe allows for greater comfort and may arrest progression.
How are bunions presented?
The joint at the big toe becomes enlarged, misaligned, and/or swollen. The big toe may also shift toward the second toe; this makes the foot seem wider, and certain shoes could become increasingly difficult to wear. Pain may or may not accompany bunions. When soreness is present, it occurs as intermittent to steady burning, tenderness and/or aching.
The initial goal of foot bunion treatment is to relieve pressure on the bunion and any symptoms that may be present.
Foot Bunion Symptoms
Symptoms of a bunion include redness, swelling or pain at the base of the big toe. Initially a bunion may present as non-painful deviation of your big toe towards the others. As the big toe progresses towards the others, calluses, corns and deformities of the other toes occur. You may also experience limited big toe motion.
Who Gets Foot Bunions?
A bunion forms when the big toe moves out of place. A bunion is the result of improper forces being passed through the joint during walking. Excessive pronation (or flattening of the foot) can contribute. In other words, the bunion is usually the end result of a long period of incorrect foot function.
Your big toe is the big toe for a reason: it is designed to bear most of your weight when you walk. When the big toe is not functioning properly (as in the case of a bunion) you may experience symptoms in your feet, knees, hips and lower back.
Bunions are not inherited, but they can run in families. What can be inherited is your foot type, and some foot types are more prone to bunion formation than others.
Footwear Modifications If You Have Bunions
Correct fitting shoes are essential to addressing the pain from a bunion that may be caused by rubbing against the inside of the shoe. Keep in mind that this option can help the symptoms, but does not address the cause of your bunions.
The type of surgery varies with the type and severity of the bunion. Often your doctor will take an x-ray to measure how much deformity has occurred. Surgery is often indicated in moderate to severe bunions and bunions that do not respond to conservative measures. Surgery is often done on an outpatient basis. The most common type of surgery involves realigning the bones of your big toe. Ligaments and tendons may be tightened and the bunion may be shaved away. If your bunion requires surgery, it is crucial that the cause of the problem is also addressed. Failure to do this may result in additional surgery when your bunion returns in a few years.
Custom made Full Contact orthotics from Icon will address your bunion by correcting the cause of your foot dysfunction. Abnormal joint positions can be reversed allowing affected tissues to heal and normal joint function to be restored. In this way the orthotic provides both primary treatment and preventative care.
ICONS, unlike typical custom orthotics, are designed to completely support the corrected arch of your foot, determined by a unique way of capturing your optimal foot position. This truly restores proper foot function. When this is done, the cause of your bunion is being addressed rather than just the symptoms.
What Can I Expect From Treatment For My Bunions?
It is common to achieve bunion arrest or reversal with the right orthotics — especially in mild to moderate cases. Even in severe cases, Icon Orthotics are indicated to help restore proper function to the foot. The time to symptom resolution varies with the type, severity and cause of your bunion. Your age and the mobility of your joints is also a factor in your recovery. Icon Orthotics are critical to avoid recurrence after surgery as well.
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