Got Bunions? Know Your Treatment Options

Bunions can make you self-conscious about showing off your foot. Secondly, they hurt! And the longer you have them, the worse they get. 

Bunions are common, with about a third of the population having had one. Many people try to live through them, not wanting to take the time to treat their feet. You don’t have to be one of these people. You can fix the deformity and also relieve the pain. At Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers, our experienced team can help you treat your bunions.  

What causes a bunion?

A bunion is a bony bump in the side of your foot near your big toe. It’s caused by a structural problem that often runs in families. It occurs when the large bones in the front part of your foot move out of place. This displacement causes the big toe to lean toward the smaller toes, creating a bony bump on the side of your foot.

A bunion develops when this bony protrusion rubs against your shoes. This can cause redness, swelling, and soreness. The longer your bunion goes untreated, the more swollen and painful it can become.

In some cases, bunions are caused by wearing narrow, tight-fitting shoes. High heels can exacerbate the bunion as well. You’re more at risk of developing bunions if you have arthritis, and also if you have pronated feet, which means they roll inward, so the inside part of your foot bears more weight.

How to treat a bunion

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat and prevent painful bunions. Non-surgical treatment options focus on relieving the pressure and letting the bunion heal and shrink. Treatment options include:

Protective padding

Surrounding the bunion with a gel-filled pad or moleskin can help protect the bunion from the sides of your shoes and give the inflammation a chance to subside. 

Comfortable footwear

Sometimes just ditching your heals and uncomfortable shoes can help reduce inflammation and pain. Look for wide shoes that allow for room for the bunion so that it doesn’t rub against the shoe. Make sure the shoe has a flexible sole to support your entire foot.

Ice and pain relievers

Icing your foot and taking over the counter pain relievers can reduce swelling while controlling the pain. 

Shoe inserts or custom orthotics

Store-bought shoe inserts can help provide support for your foot while redistributing the pressure, allowing your bunion to heal and not rub against your shoe. If over-the-counter brands don’t work, you may require comfortable custom made orthotics designed by our team. 

In some cases, your bunion may require surgery to reposition the bones and reduce the pressure. This procedure is called a bunionectomy.

If you think you have a painful bunion, call Lake Ridge and Stafford Foot & Ankle Centers to make an appointment with one of our expert podiatrists at one of our convenient locations in Lake Ridge or Stafford, Virginia. You can also request an appointment online through the website


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