Bunions (Hallux Valgus)
Bunion is the common term for a medical condition known as Hallux Valgus. Hallux Valgus is the tilting of the toe away from the mid-line of the body. It is usually characterized by a lump or bump that is red, swollen and/or painful on the inside of the foot in and around the big toe joint.
There are many causes of bunions, but the primary one is tight, ill-fitting shoes, shoes that constrict the forefoot over a long period of time. High heels and constricting forefoot shoe gear are the primary causes of Hallux Valgus. There are many things that you can do to lessen the pain associated with this condition:
- A good, well-supported, wide toe box shoe, along with good insoles or orthotic.
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, Tylenol, etc.
- Cold compresses
- Soaking the foot in Epsom salts, Johnson and Johnson foot soaks, or Dome-Boro type solutions,
paraffin bath therapy
- Support wraps and pads, such as the Bunion Splint,
Silopad Gel Bunion Pad, and the Bunion Shield are also good palliative measures.
Of course, if you have diabetes, vascular insufficiency, arthritis or a neuropathy (where the sensation to the foot is diminished) you should see a podiatrist immediately. A Podiatrist (or Orthopedist) usually will recommend x-rays to determine the exact cause and treatment of this condition. Although cortisone injections and orthotics are helpful for this condition, often bunion surgery is needed to fully eradicate the pain.
If you are planning on having bunion surgery, visit these links: