Feet is one of the essential parts of the body you utilize in everyday life. From the start to the end of the day, you use your feet to go to various places and do various activities. Foot injuries could make even the simplest tasks difficult, and minor foot pain could be the root of worse-case scenarios. It’s essential to deal with such issues during their infancy.
Have you ever experienced seeing a weird bump on the joints of your big toe? Is your big toe somehow oddly leaning toward your second toe? Is it starting to cause you bothersome pain? What you may have right now is a bunion.
There are various solutions to this type of foot condition: over-the-counter medications, gel bunion pads, or even bunion surgery. We’ve gathered essential information to shed some light on what you might be dealing with.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion is a lump that grows on the joint located at the big toe’s base. It happens when bones move forward and out of place, causing the big toe to lean toward the other toes. Different factors cause bunions to develop and may result in another medical condition.
Types of Bunions
- Large Bunion - A bunion that makes it more challenging to find comfortable footwear because of the lump size
- Bunion with Hallux Limitus - A bunion that limits flexibility at the joint of the big toe
- Bunion with Skin Irritation - An irritated lump that causes red, peeling skin and wounds, most common in people wearing closed footwear
- Tailor’s bunion - A bunion that develops on the pinky toe, another term for it is bunionette and is usually hereditary
Symptoms of a Bunion
You’re likely to be developing a bunion if:
- there’s a growing and swelling lump on your big toe (specifically, on the base)
- calluses develop from the rubbing of the big and second toes
- there’s a recurring foot pain or pain, specifically on the bumpy toe
If these symptoms become worse and cause you difficulty in your daily activities, you should consult a podiatrist.
What Causes a Bunion?
A bunion is a result of several factors. Experts argue on the following causes, namely:
- Lack of balance in the foot ligaments and muscles
- Heredity of foot structure
- Foot deformities that are already present during infancy
- Footwear practices such as wearing narrow and tight shoes
- Links to certain inflammatory types of arthritis
What are the Effects of Having a Bunion?
Bunions could affect almost any type of activity that involves foot movement, and the pain caused can interfere with your standing, walking, or running abilities. It can also increase your risks of tripping or falling, which can be another root of a more dangerous situation.
A study revealed that bunions are more common in women. One in three adults whose ages are 65 and above develop this condition. Complications related to bunions include Hammertoe, Metatarsalgia, and Bursitis.
Bunion Treatment and Prevention
Is a bunion treatable? How do you prevent it from developing?
First, you have to get your feet condition diagnosed. Usually, the doctor can see if it’s a bunion right away. Tests will then be conducted, such as an X-ray, to get a closer look into the problem and understand the level of risk. Surgery is the standard long-term treatment for a bunion, but solutions vary depending on the severity of the case.
Other treatments include:
- Changing into shoes that are more comfortable and has more room
- Prescribed medications (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, cortisone injections, and more)
- Shoe inserts
- Ice treatment
- Gel bunion pads
Bunion Pads: Are They Effective?
Gel bunion protectors or pads are over-the-counter solutions recommended for those experiencing bunion pain. What are these pads, and how effective are they?
Bunion protectors or pads contain high-quality silicone gel that is medical-grade, which means they are tested for safe use. The soft gel is made of thermoplastic elastomer urethane (TPU), a compound that is commonly used for footwear and jacket applications.
TPU is an elastomer (material with rubber-like properties) and is considered the most flexible type for a variety of applications. TPUs are generally skin-friendly and won’t likely cause any skin irritation. This explains why the gel in these pads is hypoallergenic, soft, and flexible against the skin. The pads are also made thin enough so you can wear them with any footwear.
How Bunion Pads Work
Bunion cushions are soft, small gel pads that you wear around the bunion area. Some gel bunion cushions are placed with an adhesive, while others, you have to loop over the big toe. They are made slim and flexible to avoid interfering with your footwear. Bunion pads absorb pressure (the gel) and are made washable and reusable. Make sure to get the best bunion pads recommended by your doctor and not settle for anything less.
Bunion Pain Relief, Not Treatment
Most over-the-counter products are made primarily for temporary solutions. The primary purpose of bunion pads is to relieve pain. It helps avoid direct contact between the bunion and the shoe, so it doesn’t make things worse. It will be handy if you live a busy life, have to use footwear, and move your feet all the time.
However, gel pads couldn’t work on the internal misalignments in your foot. When it comes to this, surgical procedures make a better option. You might need to have a bone part or swollen tissue from the big toe removed to realign the foot. Whatever option you decide on, it is necessary to consult your doctor.
Your feet matter as much as any other part of your body. It is a part that makes many things possible in everyday life, so you need to take good care of it. Get on your feet without worries and only the anticipation of a brand new day with these handy solutions.