What are bunions?
Also known as hallux valgus, a bunion is an unnatural, bony hump that forms at the base of the big toe where it meets the foot. The big toe may deviate toward the other toes, pushing the base of the big toe outward on the first metatarsal bone, and forming a bunion. The skin over the bunion can become swollen, red and sore due to the constant irritation, rubbing and friction of the big toe against the inside of the shoe. Persistent or intermittent pain may become exaggerated with the flexion or extension of the big toe.
What causes bunions?
Wearing tight, narrow shoes may cause bunions, or cause existing bunions to worsen. They may develop as a result of an inherited structural defect, excess strain on your foot, foot injuries, neuromuscular issues, flat feet, pronated feet, or a medical condition such as arthritis.
How Active Foot Care Clinic and Orthotic Centre can help
We can reduce the pressure and pain caused by bunions via a variety of methods, such as:
- Manipulation and mobilization of joints
A manually applied technique for the relief of bunion pain, the manipulation and mobilization of joints is a therapy which can lessen pain patterns arising from soft tissue adhesions associated with faulty foot biomechanics due to bunions. To further explore how this unique therapy can assist you with the bunion pain you experience, please visit Active Foot Clinic and Orthotic Centre's manipulation and mobilization of joints page.
- Protective padding
Made primarily from felt material, padding eliminates the friction against shoes and helps alleviate skin inflammation.
- Corn and callus removal
- Providing carefully fitted footwear designed to accommodate the bunion and deter its growth
- Custom made orthotics
An effective treatment for bunions is custom made orthotics, which treat pain and inflammation by stabilizing the joint, and placing the foot in the correct position for standing and walking. They are available in a variety of materials, designs, styles, shapes and corrections, to effectively treat your bunion symptoms. For more information, please visit our custom foot orthotics web pages.
- Strengthening and stretching exercises
Elastic resistance can maintain joint mobility, and prevent stiffness or arthritis.
- Night splints
Designed to help the toes and joint align properly, night splints are commonly recommended for adolescents with bunions, as their bone development may still be adaptable.
- Surgical treatment
Depending on the size of the bunion, misalignment of the big toe, and level of pain, typical treatments may not be adequate in the prevention of progressive damage from bunions. In these cases, a bunionectomy may be needed to remove the bunion, and realign the toe. This would require a referral to an orthopedic surgeon.
- Cold laser therapy
A non-invasive, painless and safe therapy with zero long term adverse side effects, cold laser therapy is an effective treatment in the reduction and prevention of bunion pain.
- Bunion day guards
An ideal treatment solution for bunion pain, bunion day guards are comfortable, supportive, protective, ultra-thin and discreet. They can be worn barefoot or as a bunion splint inside of shoes. Our bunion day guards will:
- gently guide your affected toe back to a more natural position, improving alignment, balance and gait
- create a barrier between your bunion and the brutal friction that your footwear creates
For additional information on the bunion treatment options offered at Active Foot Care Clinic and Orthotic Centre's Brantford and Hamilton locations, please contact us today!