Bunion Shoe Inserts - Don't Let Foot Pain Slow You Down
Many women will experience bunions sometime during their lifetime. In fact, more women than men will develop bunions due to the prevalence of high heeled shoes for women.
A bunion is a bony lump that develops on the joint near the base of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal, or MTP). The joint becomes misaligned, and the big toe is forced against the other toes. As a consequence, a protrusion forms on the inside of your foot at the base of your big toe – a bunion (hallux valgas).The MTP carries much of your body's weight when walking and running. With so much stress on the joint, a bunion can become very painful if not treated.
While bunions most commonly form near the MTP , they sometimes occur on outside of the little toe. This is called a bunionette.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions are a result of abnormal motion and faulty biomechanics. When the normal balance of forces exerted on the foot is disrupted, the MTP often bears the brunt of instability and increased pressure.
If your parents developed bunions, it is more likely that you will as well. That isn’t because bunions are genetic. It's because the biomechanics that lead to bunions are genetic. If you wear proper shoes and bunion shoe inserts, you can dramatically decrease the likelihood of developing bunions.
The main biomechanical irregularities that cause bunions are:
Apart from biomechanical irregularities, the following issues and conditions can cause bunions:
- Foot injuries
- Inflammatory joint disease
- Undue foot stress (ballet dancers often develop bunions)
- Overuse of shoes that squeeze the toes together and distribute weight abnormally – high heels
The Symptoms of Bunions
If you develop any of the following issues, you might have a bunion:
- The presence of a firm bump on the inside of your foot at the base of the big toe
- Redness or swelling in the area
- Pain around the big toe
- Restriction of toe movement
Tips for Relieving Pain Caused by Bunions
Choosing the appropriate footwear after bunions develop is crucial for relieving pain. The best types of shoes will provide enough space for your feet to rest comfortably. They will also provide the necessary structure and support to correct the biomechanical issues that initially caused the bunions. Most likely, wearing supportive insoles will reduce your discomfort and prevent your bunions from getting worse.
Choose shoes that:
- Are made of a pliable material like leather. If you have a favorite pair of plastic shoes, make sure they are wide enough to accommodate your bunion.
- Have wide toe boxes. It is important to give your feet – and bunions – the space they need. Cramped toes will result in increased pain.
- Provide enough space to use bunion shoe inserts.
- Are less than two-inches tall. Avoid pointy-toed stilettos and very high heels.
If you develop a bunion, you should see a podiatrist. Early detection is key to halting its growth. Podiatrists will try to reduce pressure on the bunion. The podiatrist might recommend home remedies to relieve pain:
- A non-medicated bunion pad around the bony bump.
- Repeated icing of the foot.
- The use of arch-supporting bunion shoe inserts to realign the foot and control pronation.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen.
If these home remedies don't give the comfort you need, your podiatrist might perform the following:
- Padding and taping - Padding (like a bunion pad) will relieve pressure. This can allow you to continue in your daily life without pain. Tape will help keep the foot in a normal position.
- Medication – Anti-inflammatory drugs or even cortisone injections can reduce pain and inflammation.
- Surgery – This is the only “true” cure to eliminate bunions. But most podiatrists won’t recommend it unless the pain is interfering with daily life and normal function. During bunion surgery, a physician will shave down the bony protrusion and realign the toe with a pin. Recovery can take from one to two months. In 10 to 15 percent of the cases, the bunion will come back. This makes surgery a less than perfect option.
Bunion Shoe Inserts are Key to Prevention
The root cause of bunions is improper biomechanics. Most podiatrists and foot experts will recommend some type of insoles to prevent bunions. Because bunions are associated with flat feet and unstable arches, bunion shoe inserts that provide superior arch support – Tread Labs Stride – will help prevent the development of this painful condition. Stride Insoles will correct your biomechanical deficiencies, keep the foot in proper alignment, and reduce the stress on your MTP joints. Don’t wait until you develop the condition to try a pair of arch-supporting insoles in your shoes. If you have flat feet, a family history of bunions, or a job that puts a lot of stress on your feet, get a pair of Stride insoles today. Your feet will thank you.