5 Conservative Treatments for Bunions

May 4, 2017

Bunions are an exceedingly common foot deformity. By some estimates, around 3 in 10 adults have a bunion on at least one foot; women are especially vulnerable, and the risk increases steadily with age.

If you begin to notice that distinctive, bulging bump at the base of your big toe, you might be wondering what your treatment options are. After all, the bump doesn’t seem to be getting better on its own. Are you going to need surgery?

We’ll start with the bad news: if you were hoping that some combination of stretching, medicine, strapping, or other conservative treatments can take your feet back to the way they used to be, we must sadly inform you that isn’t possible. Bunions are bony deformities, and the only way to make them disappear is through surgery.

However, that does NOT meant that surgery is your only option! As a matter of fact, many people are able to manage their bunions effectively entirely through conservative means. As long as you are living without pain and can accomplish your daily activities and hobbies without problems, there is no need for surgical correction.

Conservative treatment options include:

  • Switching shoes. Sometimes all you need is a little more space so that your bunions aren’t pressed against the inside of your footwear.
  • Over-the-counter, non-medicated bunion pads reduce stress and friction, helping you prevent complications like blisters and corns.
  • Splinting or taping. If your big toe is still flexible, we can provide a splint or “buddy tape” the toe to its neighbor in order to keep it in a more normal alignment.
  • Shoe inserts. Either over-the-counter prefabricated supports or custom orthotics may be prescribed to reduce pressure on the bunion bump.
  • Pain relief medications. This could include over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, stronger oral medications, or injections of cortisone. Icing may also help.

One very important thing to remember: bunions are progressive, meaning they gradually get worse over time. If you step in early with conservative care, you have a much better chance of eliminating your pain and slowing the rate of development.

That’s why, at the first sign of trouble, you should call the Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. Don’t wait until pain is imposing on your lifestyle! Take corrective action now. You can reach us at (405) 418-2676, or complete our contact form online.

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Oklahoma City, OK 73114

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