Can Orthotics Help my Bunion?
If you’ve been wondering what you can do about your bunion or how to alleviate associated pain, you may have considered if orthotics might be helpful: the answer is yes. But first, let us examine what is a bunion and what causes it.
A bunion is a deviation of the big toe and big toe joint: the big toe drifts off toward the second toe creating a bony bump at the base of the big toe. This bone bump can become painful while rubbing against shoes and can get larger over time. In time enlargement of the joint occurs and can alter function of the big toe joint, leading to more pain and sometimes arthritis.
What causes a bunion? Usually a bunion forms due to abnormal or excessive motion within the foot. For example, over-pronation (collapse or flattening of the arch) or increased flexibility can initiate or contribute to bunion formation. Bunions may be hereditary but typically what one inherits is the foot type or poor mechanics that contribute to bunion formation.
Fortunately the abnormal forces that cause bunions, namely instability, poor mechanics, and excessive motion, can be reduced or mitigated through the use of custom foot orthotics. Orthotics help to reduce the destabilizing forces that cause bunions to progress, thus reversing dysfunction that leads to joint pain. While it is true that orthotics cannot fix a structural deformity such as a bunion (only surgery can truly ‘fix’ or correct this deformity), they may eliminate the need for surgery. This is why it is best to treat bunions with orthotics sooner than later, especially in familial cases. Furthermore, orthotics can be beneficial after surgery to avoid re-occurrence of the deformity.
So be proactive with regards to bunions and consider a custom orthotic as a means of treating this potentially painful deformity. If you believe you have a bunion contact Alpine Foot & Ankle Clinic by calling (406) 721-4007 or visiting us on our website.