When you're too embarrassed to wear toe-baring sandals and your feet don't fit in sneakers, it's time to address your foot problems. Has your big toe widened and a bony bump formed near the base of the toe? You might have a bunion. Caused by tight shoes or joint-eroding medical conditions such as arthritis, this deformity of the feet should not be ignored.
At-home treatment options
Bunions don't go away on their own, so it's best to learn how to work with them. Unfortunately this might mean your closet is a few pairs of shoes lighter.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that you begin by wearing roomy shoes. Slip-on style dress shoes, wide-width sneakers and shoes made with stretchy fabrics are best. Pointed-toe shoes and toe-pinching pumps should no longer be part of your wardrobe. Use shoe inserts or padding over the enlarged area of your foot to reduce rubbing and irritation.
Take anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain associated with the bunion. For extremely painful growths, ask a doctor in Atlanta about getting a cortisone injection in the joint. Your doctor may also recommend surgery.
Corrective surgical procedures
Can't take any more pain? It's time for a professional diagnosis. After all, you could be suffering from another medical condition, such as a plantar wart or degenerative arthritis. Once you know your problem is a bunion, it's time to think about having it corrected.
There are a few ways to alleviate your medical condition. Tissue can be removed from the foot to decrease the size of the bulge, or the bones in the big toe can be realigned or fused to give the toe a straighter appearance. These procedures usually require a few weeks of recovery time, and a promise to your doctor that you'll wear properly fitting shoes in the future.