We all love a good pair of heels. It’s an easy and cute way to upscale your outfit. Heels help you shift your day dress into the perfect evening outfit. While they may be trendy and attractive, are your favorite pair of heels leading you to have bunions on your feet?
What are bunions?
Bunions, also known as Hallux Valgus, are bumps formed on the side of your toe, usually your big toe but not uncommonly. Your smaller pinky toe can form ”bunionettes”. Bunions are typically formed at the base of your toe, and it protrudes outward as your affected toe is pushed against the rest of your toes in the opposing direction.
Unfortunately, Bunions do not go away on their own. As time passes and when left untreated, your bunion will continue to grow larger and larger, causing more prominent podiatric issues. You must seek treatment before the condition worsens. If you are in the San Fernando Valley area, you’re in luck! Dr.Jones Hormozi, an experienced podiatrist in Northridge, CA, is an expert in bunion treatment and care!
Causes of bunions?
What causes these painful bunions, and how can we prevent them from occurring? While there are several causes, both artificial and natural, some include:
- Wearing narrow shoes
Narrow shoes can put an unnecessary strain on your toes. As mentioned before, your favorite pair of heels could be the leading cause of your bunion issues. Most heels have a band that will run across the base of your toes, pulling them closer to one another. Other heels are shaped in a tight ”V” or ”U” shape that causes your toes to be pushed together. This strain can eventually lead to severe podiatric issues.
- Hereditary diseases like arthritis
Arthritis is an inflammation of your joints. Some cases of arthritis can be hereditary, so it’s always important to check with your doctor to see if your family history puts you at risk. Toe arthritis can lead to bunions. When experiencing toe arthritis, you feel the tenderness of the toes, pain when you move them, stiffness, swelling, and so many more painful symptoms. Over time and when left untreated, toe arthritis can be a leading factor in bunion formation.
- Your natural foot shape
While some causes can be avoided, others like the natural shaping of your foot cannot. Unfortunately, there are some cases when the natural shape of your foot can lead to bunions. Even though you can’t prevent this, it doesn’t mean that it’s not treatable.
There are a few ways to treat bunions, both surgical and nonsurgical. Some conservative options for treating bunions are:
- Pain management
You can take over the counter drugs like acetaminophen to help reduce the inflammation and pain of a bunion
- Podiatric shoewear
You can switch out your favorite pair of heels or narrow-toed sneakers (like Adidas or converse) for medically approved shoewear. This shoewear will provide your toes with the room they need to ensure your bunions don’t get worse.
- Applying ice to reduce swelling
Once you reduce your joint’s swelling, you are less likely to continue to grow your bunion. Reducing the swelling by applying ice to your joints slows down the overall growth.
Some surgical options are:
- Removing the swollen tissue from the surrounding joint. This extraction process eliminates the bump-like exterior and provides less pressure against your toes – eventually allowing them to be redirected into the original shape.
- Shaving the affected bone to help straighten out your toe.
- Joining the bones of your affected toes permanently
These corrective surgeries are both safe and severely effective. Dr. Hormozi, an experienced podiatrist in Northridge, CA, has treated numerous bunion cases successfully. With his charming bedside manner and expertise in the podiatric industry, he comes highly recommended by his patients.
If you do go the route of surgery, your aftercare instructions are easy to follow:
- In the beginning and for a few days following your surgery, you are instructed to avoid putting weight on the affected toe.
- As with any injury or surgery, the affected foot’s elevation is required to help reduce the swelling and inflammation.
- Take your pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon.
As you can see, there are several ways to treat your bunion issues. You have both surgical and nonsurgical options. But the best way to treat a bunion is prevention. So before you put on those cute heels and hit the town, think about how they fit. Are they putting too much pressure on your toes? Are they too tight? If so, you might have to ditch them for a pair of comfortable shoes or risk getting painful bunions that might lead to your getting corrective surgery for later on. In my option, let’s ditch the heels and bring on the comfortable shoes!