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Can Orthotics Correct My Bunions?

Can Orthotics Correct My Bunions?

For many, bunions are a daily reminder of the stresses that feet endure, from wearing tight shoes to simply standing for extended periods. The search for relief leads patients to explore a variety of solutions. 

Among the most discussed and debated are orthotics. At Concord Podiatry, specialist David E. Biss, DPM, treats a full range of issues that affect the feet and ankles, including bunions. Here, we address treatment options to correct bunions, including what orthotics can do to provide relief.

How bunions form

Bunions form when the joint at the base of the big toe becomes enlarged, causing the toe to deviate toward the others. This deviation often results in a painful bony prominence on the side of the foot, accompanied by inflammation, redness, and sometimes an aching sensation. 

The progression of a bunion can be influenced by genetics, foot structure, and external factors like footwear.

The role of orthotics with bunions

Orthotics are custom-made shoe inserts designed to support, align, and improve the functions of your foot, ankle, and lower leg. When it comes to bunions, orthotics help with:

Pressure redistribution

Orthotics can help redistribute pressure away from the bunion, reducing pain and discomfort. They realign the foot to a more natural position, which can prevent the worsening of the bunion deformity.

Correction and prevention

While orthotics may not reverse a bunion entirely, they play a significant role in halting or slowing its progression. By addressing the underlying biomechanical causes, orthotics can be preventive, especially for those at risk or in the early stages of bunion development.

Enhanced foot function

Orthotics provide a stable foundation, improve balance, and optimize the distribution of body weight across the foot. This, in turn, relieves strain on the bunion area.

Other treatment approaches

The Concord Podiatry team believes in a comprehensive approach to ensure optimal foot health. While orthotics play a crucial role in addressing bunion discomfort, they often yield the best results when paired with other treatment modalities, such as:

Proper footwear

One of the primary culprits behind bunion discomfort, and sometimes even their development, is ill-fitting shoes. Selecting the right footwear can make a world of difference. 

Shoes with a wide toe box prevent compression, allowing your toes to lie flat. Additionally, footwear that offers good arch support and adequate cushioning can alleviate pressure, providing much-needed relief to bunion sufferers.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy offers a range of benefits for people with bunions. Targeted exercises enhance joint mobility, helping alleviate stiffness associated with bunions. Moreover, strengthening exercises can bolster the muscles of the foot, providing better support and potentially slowing the progression of the bunion. 

Regular sessions with a trained therapist can also introduce patients to pain-relief modalities like ultrasound or massage.

Surgery

In cases where the bunion has progressed to a severe state or when other treatments fail to provide relief, surgical intervention might be the best option. Bunion surgery aims to realign the toe, rectify the deformed joint, and eliminate the painful bump. 

The decision to opt for surgery is significant and is typically considered when the bunion severely impacts quality of life, making everyday activities like walking or standing painful. 

Wearing orthotics after surgery helps reduce stress and improve stability.

Bunions, though common, don't have to dictate the comfort of your daily life. At Concord Podiatry, our commitment is to ensure every step you take is a step toward better foot health. If you’re dealing with bunions, schedule a consultation with Dr. Biss to find out how we can help.

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