If you have a proclivity for developing bunions, or big-toe inflammation, you may think there is nothing you can really do since your foot shape/structure is hereditary. However, there are things that you can do to avoid developing a bunion. Here are a few of them:
1. Purchase shoes that are wide enough.
When shoes are too narrow, they place a large amount of pressure on the sides of the foot, including the inner side of the foot where the big toe joint lies. The constant pressure from a shoe that is too narrow can eventually inflame the joint of the big toe and cause a bunion to develop.
2. Avoid high heels.
High-heeled shoes elevate the back of the foot so that most of the pressure is received on the ball of the foot. As pressure is placed on the ball of the foot, it causes the toes to spread since they are trying to compensate for the loss of balance. This spreading presses the sides of the foot against the sides of the high-heel shoes. Even if the width of the foot is appropriate, inflammation of the big toe joint can still occur.
3. Give your feet time to breathe.
When you walk around without wearing shoes, the ligaments and muscles of your feet are stretched and strengthened by the movement. This can help reduce the amount of pressure received by the big toe joint, lessening the chance of a bunion.
4. Lose weight.
Extra pounds place additional pressure on your feet. The extra weight can cause the feet to spread in a manner that causes the sides of the feet to be compressed in shoes of any size.
5. Use customized orthotics.
Orthotic inserts can help ensure that your feet remain as comfortable as possible in your shoes. Although over-the-counter orthotic inserts are available, they are generally not as effective as customized orthotics. The specialized inserts can often be designed and purchased during a visit to a podiatrist, like Hartford Podiatry Group.
6. Do low-impact activities.
Although high-impact activities, such as running, expend a large number of calories, they're also hard on the feet. Trade high-impact activities for lower impact movements that are less jolting to the feet and joints. In addition, be sure to wear athletic shoes that provide proper support and that fit comfortably during your workouts.
Bunions can become serious enough to require surgery. Thus, it is important to get immediate treatment if a bunion develops. If you believe that you have a bunion, schedule a consultation with a foot doctor in your area.