How to Avoid Bunions
If you've experienced a bunion before, you're likely to have another. At Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia in Stafford, our podiatrists recommend the following regimens to keep your feet comfortable and bunion-free.
Avoid narrow footwear
While high heels make a fashion statement, they also cause your feet to relay another message: "Ouch!" These shoes, with narrow toe boxes and unforgiving arches, distort the feet into unnatural positions and require the wearer to essentially walk on tiptoe. The weight isn't evenly distributed, putting all the pressure on the toes. This is why high heels are thought to be one of the main causes of bunions. Men's dress footwear can be uncomfortable as well, as they can crowd the toes and provide no cushioning for the heels. Your Stafford podiatrist suggests choosing shoes that have ample room in the toe box and have a heel height of no more than 2 inches. Cushioned inserts can also help. If you must wear high heels to work, give your feet a much-needed break throughout the day by kicking the heels off under your desk and bringing along a pair of comfortable flats to wear when walking longer distances.
As much as possible, walk in bare feet. This helps to give your feet a rest from the confines of footwear and strengthens the muscles and bones. In colder weather, your Stafford podiatrist recommends thick socks or comfortable, padded slippers.
Use inserts and pads
At the first sign of a bunion, your Stafford podiatrist recommends applying a bunion pad, which can be purchased at your local pharmacy. This cushions your big toe and relieves some of the pressure while wearing shoes. Bunion splints may also be useful, and some patients at Associated Foot & Ankle Centers of Northern Virginia have had success with taping their toes. Your Stafford podiatrist can instruct you on the proper way to apply the tape.
Visit your Stafford podiatrist if you think you might be developing a bunion. Our professional medical staff can determine the extent of your injury and give you suggestions for treating it effectively.