If you’re wondering how to get rid of bunions once and for all, you’re not alone. Millions of patients nationwide suffer from this painful foot condition—and if you’re a woman, you’re even more likely to experience a bunion in your lifetime. In fact, according to some estimates, more than half of all women in the United States have bunions.
Many over-the-counter treatments are available that can provide pain relief if you have a bunion, from simple gel pads to personalized rehabilitation devices, also know as orthotic devices.
Below are some common orthotics used to treat bunions:
- Padding. Devices such as gel inserts, precut padding, and toe shields provide cushioning to protect the bunion from rubbing inside your shoe. These can help relieve pain, but they won’t straighten the toe.
- Toe spreaders. Similar to the foam separators women use when painting their toenails, these devices are usually made of gel and spread all five toes outward, relieving the pressure on the big toe joint. In some cases, a wedge between the first and second toes may be used; however, if the big toe joint is severely bent, a wedge can affect the position of the neighboring toes.
- Toe straighteners. These devices “hook” around the foot to straighten the big toe. A loop grips the big toe, and a sling grips the back of the heel, holding it in place. These are now available in comfortable elastic fabric versions, making it possible for patients to wear them during the workday.
- Bunion splints. The most effective nonsurgical treatment for bunions are bunion splints. These braces are often custom-made by a podiatrist, and while they cannot completely repair the joint problem, they can stop it from progressing further. Bunion splints are also sometimes used postoperatively to help correct the toe position and prevent the bunion from coming back.
To determine your best course of treatment, contact a knowledgeable Media podiatrist for an examination and consultation. The dedicated team of Philadelphia foot doctors at Healthmark Foot & Ankle Associates can help relieve your discomfort, treat your bunion, and prevent it from returning. Call us today for an appointment in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644.