Autumn Season Creates Bunion Pain For Women
Autumn is a painful time of year for many women, and not just because the weather gets nippy.
As they transition from open-toed sandals to closed-toed boots and shoes, our podiatrists here at Triad Foot Center notice more women seeking relief for painful bunions. This trend plays out in the examining rooms of many foot and ankle surgeons every autumn.
When considering foot wear this fall, here are a few things to consider for your bunion pain:
- Never force your foot into a shoe that doesn’t fit. Get help from an associate at a reputable shoe store to determine the right size shoe. If you only have a bunion on one foot, you may need to wear a different shoe size than the other foot.
- Choose shoes that conform to the shape of your feet. Select shoes with wide insteps, broad toes and soft soles.
- Avoid shoes with short, tight or sharply pointed toe boxes, and those with heels higher than about two inches. Wide toe boxes alleviate pressure on the bunion.
- You can also have your shoes professionally stretched. Protective pads also cushion painful areas.
Because the changing weather brings more bunion patients into the office, some women inquire about surgery in the fall because they’re less busy than in summer months and can be back on their feet before the hectic holiday season is in full swing. Many are also closer to meeting their insurance deductibles later into the year, making the fall the ideal time to consider surgery.
While we emphasize that surgery is a last-resort treatment for women with painful bunions, in some cases it is the best route for a more permanent solution to pain. For many women, simple changes like wearing shoes with wider toe boxes can significantly reduce bunion pain. Custom shoe inserts, gel- or foam-filled padding and anti-inflammatory medications may also provide pain relief as a way to prevent surgery. Periodic office evaluations and x-ray exams can determine whether or not your bunion deformity is advancing. If a bunion continues to get worse, especially if it is accompanied by worsening pain and interference with daily activities, it’s time to talk about surgery.
There are several different types of surgery with varying levels of recovery time. Determining the best surgery is largely dependent on the severity of the bunion, as well as environmental factors such as occupation and lifestyle. Bunion surgery realigns bone, ligaments, tendons and nerves so your big toe can be brought back to its correct position. Podiatric surgeons have several techniques to ease your pain. Many bunion surgeries are done on a same-day basis (no hospital stay) and most patients are not even put to sleep. A long recovery used to be common and included persistent swelling and stiffness, but advanced techniques have made down time and recovery shorter than ever.
For more frequently asked questions about bunion surgery, visit our FAQ page. If you are ready to visit one of our podiatric surgeons to discuss ways to treat your painful bunions, click here to request an appointment!
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