Bunion Prevention Strategies: How to Protect Your Feet from Developing Bunions

Did you know, bunions are one of the most common problems that occur in adults? It is a type of bone deformity that happens at the base of your big toe for many reasons. It is very painful and makes it difficult for you to wear normal shoes or participate in certain activities. However, the good thing is you can prevent bunions with some preventive measures. Learn about 7 preventive measures to protect your foot from a bunion in this article. Log on to www.doralhw.org for a consultation.

7 Prevention strategies

Here are some preventive measures that you can take to protect your feet from bunions:

  1. Wear proper fitting shoes:

This is the most obvious but most ignored thing that causes a bunion. Bunions can develop when there is an uneven amount of pressure or rubbing on your toes. Here are the ways to choose the best shoes for yourself to avoid bunions:

  • Comfort: When you wear a pair of shoes for the first time, you shouldn’t feel like they’re pinching or rubbing against any part of your feet. You shouldn’t choose shoes just because they look good and you think that you can break in after wearing them for weeks or months, because even after wearing them for a while it never becomes an ideal fit and puts stress on your feet. Your shoes should be sturdy, but comfortable.
  • Size and fit: Choose shoes that are the right length and width for your foot. Avoid tight, narrow, or pointy shoes, and look for styles that affect your instep (which is on top of your foot). You shouldn’t struggle to slip your feet in when buying a pair of shoes. Also, check your shoes for broad-toe boxes to keep your toes from rubbing together and soft soles for cushioning and support.
  • Support: Arch supports are extremely helpful in distributing pressure evenly on your feet rather than putting it all on your balls or heels of your feet. Many shoes come with built-in arch support, and if your shoes don’t have it then add an arch support for maximum comfort.

In case your bunion starts to form then the right shoes help to relieve foot pain. The right shoes also alleviate pressure from your toe joint.

  • Avoid wearing high heels:

Usually, high heels are bad for your feet because they put pressure on your toes, particularly on your big toe joint. So, try to avoid it or if you need to wear them, do it in moderation. Wearing them regularly can lead to bunions due to the angle of the heel forcing your entire foot forward which leads to your ties being crowded in the toe box which causes deformities.

That’s why you should choose supportive flats over high heels. If you wear heels, try to keep the height under 2 inches to minimize pressure or add wedges or block heels in your wardrobe to distribute weight.

  • Give rest to your feet:

When you’re mostly walking during the day, your feet get tired and most of the time they support your weight, and the risk of bunions gets high. So, to decrease the risk of bunions you should give your feet a rest after a long day.

You can do that by avoiding standing or moving for a while watching TV or giving them a nice soak in an Epsom salt bath to soothe them. If you can, take off your shoes for a few minutes and let your feet breathe. You can also wear perfect bunion-prevention shoes to relax your feet.

  • Stretches and exercises to strengthen your feet:

Like other parts of the body, feet also get stronger and more flexible with specific exercises. It can also improve your overall foot health, reduce foot and ankle pain, relieve muscle soreness, and keep you moving.

Here are some exercises that you can add to your routine to improve the strength and flexibility of your feet, do 2 to 3 sets of some or all these exercises twice a day:

  • Pickups: Sit on a chair or bed and place 10 to 20 small marbles or objects on the floor. Now try to pick them up only using your toes and drop them into a container.
  • Curls: Put a small towel on the floor then sit on the floor (or on a chair) with the towel in the reach of your toes. Curl your toes around the towel and pull it toward you by bending your knees. Do it for 5 minutes.
  • Stretches: Keep your feet off the floor, point your toes as far as you can, and curl them as they go. Do it for 5 seconds at a time with each foot. Repeat this stretch 10 times. You can also stretch your big toes by pulling them up with the help of an exercise band. Push back through your toe as you stretch to make this a resistance exercise.
  • Rolling: Sit on a chair and place a can or a tennis ball under your foot. Put your foot on the ball to roll it around the length of each foot for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Monitor your feet:

Bunions usually develop slowly, so you need to pay attention to your feet to catch any changes that occur in your feet. Early symptoms include pain, swelling, and redness in your big toe joint. If you start noticing a lump or bump on the side of your big toe or it’s beginning to turn toward the other toes, things will likely be more advanced.

In either case, you should make an appointment with a podiatrist who diagnoses your foot and creates a treatment plan to manage your symptoms.

  • Maintain healthy weight:

The risk of a bunion happens when there’s a lot of pressure on the toe joint. If you’re overweight or obese, you need to reduce weight to decrease the risk of bunion development and aggravate existing ones. Consult with your healthcare provider to learn what weight loss plan is good for you.

  • Avoiding high-impact sports:

High-impact sports like football, basketball, etc. put stress on your feet and toes, which increases the risk of a bunion. So, avoid it or play in moderation.

When to see a doctor?

In case, even after following prevention strategies, bunions still occur, then you should seek a doctor. Don’t wait to visit your doctor because over time it only gets worse and leads to complications like bursitis or hammertoe deformity, which may need surgery to fix it. You should immediately make an appointment with your doctor when you first notice symptoms like:

  • Persistent pain.
  • A bump or lump on the base of your big toe.
  • Decrease movement in your foot.
  • Difficulty in finding shoes that fit.

Bunions are painful and make your foot weak which makes it difficult to deal with. However, the above-mentioned tips can help you prevent bunions from occurring or getting worse. In case you develop a bunion even after prevention measures, you should visit a podiatrist for professional medical treatment to prevent complications.

If you need help with foot problems, visit our podiatry clinic in Brooklyn for professional medical help. Doral Health & Wellness employs Podiatrists with extensive education and expertise. Trauma to the tendons, muscles, and bones of the foot is quite common. It’s not a good idea to put off seeing a Foot Doctor Brooklyn until you’re in a lot of pain. Our address is 1797 Pitkin Avenue, New York, NY 11212. To make an appointment, please call +1-347-384-5690 or send an email toinfo@doralhw.org.