Do you find our website to be helpful?
Yes   No

Bunion Prevention: Here's What You Need to Know

Your feet are a vital part of your body that bear the brunt of your weight all day. This is especially true if you’re active or are on your feet for work. When something like a bunion starts to form, it can cause you a great deal of pain and make even walking difficult.

At Phoenix Foot and Ankle Institute, our team is ready to help you find treatment for a variety of foot and ankle problems. Dr. Jeffrey McAlister is our board-certified, fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon who specializes in bunion correction, along with a myriad of other foot problems. Here he gives you prevention strategies to keep you on your feet in the future.

What are bunions?

Bunions are a bone deformity that occur at the base of your big toe for a variety of reasons. They originate in the metatarsophalangeal joint, also known as your MTP joint, where the bones slide out of place, forming a protrusion. A bunion can be very painful, and make it difficult for you to wear normal shoes, or participate in certain activities. 

So how do you know you have a bunion starting? Symptoms may vary from person to person, but traditionally, signs include:

You may also notice calluses or corns forming where your big toe rubs your second toe, a common occurrence. Understanding what causes bunions helps you to focus on prevention strategies for the future.

Prevention tips to follow

There are some causes of bunions you can control, while others, like heredity, you can’t. Even though you can’t control your gene pool, you can take steps to lessen your risk of developing bunions early on. The earlier you begin bunion prevention, the better your feet will fare later on.

Here are a few tips you can follow to decrease your risk of developing a bunion:

Wear shoes that fit properly

The best time to get shoes is in the evening, after being on your feet all day. That’s because your feet swell throughout the day, so in the evening, you have a better chance of getting shoes that fit your feet well. You also should make sure your shoes fit not only around your toes, but in your arch and heel as well.

Avoid high heels

Heels are generally bad for your feet — if you need to wear them, do so in moderation. Wearing heels on a regular basis can lead to bunions, because the angle of the heel forces your entire foot forward. This leads to your toes being crowded in the toe box and eventually, deformities develop.

Give your feet some rest

When you’re on your feet most of the day, they tend to get tired. Because they’re supporting most of your weight, it’s no wonder bunions occur. A good way to help decrease your risk is to give your feet a rest after a long day. This may involve propping them up while you’re watching TV, or giving them a nice soak in an Epsom salt bath to soothe them. 

Make sure your shoes are comfortable

This seems like a silly statement — who would wear shoes that don’t feel good? The truth is, if you have a bunion starting, even the slightest discomfort around your toes could be making the bunion worse. By making sure your shoes are completely comfortable, and wide enough for your feet, you decrease the chances that your bunion will start or become worse.

When to see a doctor

Even when you follow the proper prevention strategies, bunions can still occur, especially if you’re predisposed. You don’t want to let them go too long without seeing Dr. McAlister, to avoid them getting any worse. You should make an appointment with us if you notice any symptoms like:

Although your bunion may be tolerable at this point, Dr. McAlister can point you in the right direction of nonsurgical treatment that can lessen your chances of other complications like bursitis or hammertoe deformity. In some cases, surgery is necessary.

Bunions are no walk in the park, so if you’re dealing with one and are in need of treatment, call either of our convenient locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona at 602-761-7819, or book an appointment with us online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

How Do I Know I Have a Neuroma?

When you have pain in your foot, simply walking may seem impossible. A neuroma is one of the causes of pain in your feet, but how do you know that’s what’s causing your pain? Keep reading to learn the signs of a neuroma in your feet.

Is Achilles Tendinitis Curable?

Have you been feeling a sharp pain behind your heel? If so, achilles tendinitis could be the culprit. This condition can make walking difficult, so it’s important to get treatment. Keep reading to learn how, and if, you can cure this condition.

5 Signs of a Diabetes-Related Foot Problems

If you suffer from diabetes, you might not be aware of all of the problems you could run into. Diabetes affects many different areas of your body, including your feet. Keep reading to learn more about foot problems caused by your diabetes.

How is Avascular Necrosis Treated?

Your bones are vulnerable to a number of conditions, including avascular necrosis. This condition leads to bone death, and can be devastating if not treated. Continue reading to learn more about how this scary condition is successfully treated.

What Is an Osteochondral Lesion of the Talus?

Are you having trouble putting weight on your ankle, but you don’t remember an injury? You might be dealing with something known as an osteochondral lesion. Keep reading to learn more about this condition and how you can get relief.

What Is an Ankle Fusion, and Is it Right for Me?

Ankle pain isn't a problem you want — especially when treatments aren't relieving the pain. Arthritis could be the culprit, meaning surgery may be around the corner. Keep reading to learn about an ankle fusion, and if it’s the answer to your pain.