With the Bank Of America Chicago Marathon just weeks away and the weather warm enough for outdoor activity, our physicians, Dr. Michelle Kim and Dr. Diana Emini, spent a recent Saturday at New Balance in Oak Brook doing foot screenings.
There, staff at DM Foot and Ankle Associates got to meet locals and talk about their foot and ankle problems.
We saw a variety of foot problems that day, including bunions.
This is one of the most common big toe problems – basically, it's an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe.
There are a few causes, including:
Heredity: If parents and grandparents have bunions, there's a chance children will develop them at an earlier age.
Improper shoes: Squeezing your foot into a shoe with a pointy toe can increase the risk, as can high heels – which force the toes into the front of the shoes when they can get crowded.
Arthritis: The pain from arthritis can change the way a person walks, making sufferers more likely to get bunions.
Some of the symptoms include:
* Swelling or soreness around the big toe joint
* A bump on the outside base of the big toe
* Difficultly fitting into shoes
* Regular or occasional pain in the big toe joint
* Limited movement of the big toe joint
In addition, treatments can vary.
*Changing shoes: Roomy, comfy footwear should be worn. A square versus a pointy shoe gives the toes more room.
* Padding and strapping: There are devices that can keep the joint and toe in a more normal place and cut down on stress and pressure
* Medication or cortisone shots to reduce and inflammation and pain
*Orthotics: Shoe inserts that can spread pressure more evenly when you move your feet, which can reduce bunion symptoms and prevent it from getting worse.
* Surgery. There are a number of surgical options. The cause of the bunion and other health factors play into which type of surgery may be needed.
We here at DM Foot and Ankle Associates welcomed the opportunity to talk to people during the foot screen event.
“We wanted to offer our services for those who may feel reluctant to seek out care,” Dr. Emini said. “Pain is never normal and should not be ignored.”
By Diana Emini