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Bunions: Causes and Treatment Options

Have you noticed bony bumps at the bottoms of your big toes? You may have bunions, a foot condition that's particularly common in women. Your Denver, CO, podiatrists Drs. Eric Jaakola and Anna Weber of Diabetic Foot & Wound Center & Colorado Sports Podiatry offer a variety of treatments that relieve painful bunion symptoms.

Why do I have bunions?

A bunion occurs when the joint at the base of your toe moves out of its normal position. Constant pressure from high heels or tight shoes can increase the likelihood that you'll develop a bunion, but other factors may play a role too. Do other people in your family have bunions? An inherited foot imbalance may raise your bunion risk.

Arthritis in the foot, whether it's osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, can be a contributing factor if you have bunions. Other risk factors include flat feet, leg length differences, high arches, excessive pronation or spending long hours on your feet on a regular basis.

How can my Denver foot doctor help me?

Your podiatrist can offer suggestions and treatments that reduce your pain and make walking and standing more comfortable, such as:

  • Try Night Splints: Your podiatrist can offer night splints that gently realign your joints while you sleep, or show you how to tape your feet to improve their alignment.
  • Wear Orthotics: Night splints may temporarily improve foot alignment while you sleep, but they won't help during the day. Luckily, your podiatrist can design custom-made shoe inserts called orthotics that improve foot alignment and cushion your foot.
  • Opt for Cortisone Injections: Cortisone injections may be recommended if over-the-counter medications aren't helpful.
  • Remove Painful Corns and Calluses: If your big toe overlaps your other toes, painful corns and calluses can be a problem. After your foot doctor removes the corns and calluses, you may find that wearing shoes is a little more comfortable. (Never treat corns and calluses at home if you have diabetes, as home removal can lead to serious infections.)
  • Consider Surgery: Surgery isn't always needed if you have bunions, but it may be the best choice if your bunion is constantly swollen, you can't bend your toe or you have constant pain.

Ease your bunion pain with a visit to the foot doctor! Call your Denver, CO, podiatrists Drs. Eric Jaakola and Anna Weber of Diabetic Foot & Wound Center & Colorado Sports Podiatry at (303) 321-4477 to schedule an appointment.

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