If you have a painful bump on your big toe, see a podiatrist to find out what's wrong and to receive treatment. You might have a bunion, and the pain may get worse if you don't stop irritating your toe and begin treatment. Here's a look at some bunion treatments that might eliminate or reduce your pain.
Try Different Shoes And Add Moleskin Pads
Wearing wider shoes won't cure a bunion, but shoes that don't rub against the bunion might reduce pain. A podiatrist can help you choose the best shoes that will accommodate your bunion while still supporting your feet. In addition, you might want to use bunion pads or cut pads from moleskin so the bunion has some protection against your footwear while you walk or run.
Try Orthotics Or A Splint
A podiatrist can prescribe orthotics for you to wear in your shoes if they're necessary. These can straighten your toe and support your feet. Your podiatrist might also recommend wearing a splint at night that holds your toe straight while you sleep. Orthotics and splints won't reverse your bunion, but they can help with pain and possibly keep the bunion from getting worse.
Have Bunion Surgery
When the pain from your bunion keeps you from being as active as you like, your podiatrist might say it's time to consider bunion surgery. There are several types of bunion surgery, so your doctor has to choose the approach that repairs your specific problem.
Your doctor might remove excess tissue from around the bunion, or they might need to remove part of your bone. The goals of the surgery are to straighten your toe and reduce pain so you can increase your mobility and improve the quality of your life.
It could take a few months to recover from bunion surgery, especially if surgery on your bone is involved. You might need to wear a surgical boot while you heal to protect your toe. You might also need to use a knee scooter or crutches until your doctor allows you to bear weight and begin physical therapy so you can resume normal activities.
When you see a podiatrist for bunion treatment, they may begin with the least invasive bunion treatments and leave surgery as a last resort. You don't necessarily need bunion surgery for cosmetic reasons. If you don't have pain, your podiatrist might just monitor your bunion and try to prevent it from getting worse by advising you on proper footwear, recommending you lose weight if necessary, and prescribing shoe orthotics.