Soothing Those Sore Feet

For anyone who suffers with bunions, this chronic foot disorder can make every step of every day a painful challenge. More common among women than men, a bunion is a firm, fluid-filled pad which develops at the base of the big toe.

A bunion often occurs in response to rubbing or pressure from narrow, pointed or otherwise ill-fitting shoes. The underlying cause of a bunion is an outward projection of the bones at the base of the big tow. That abnormal formation may be genetic or it may be the result of other medical conditions which affect joints, such as arthritis.

The pain and swelling of small bunions may be relieved by wearing properly fitted shoes and special pads or padded socks that correct the position of the big toe. For larger or more severe bunions, surgery may be needed to remove some of the tissue or rea
lign the bones in the affected area. A physician's careful diagnosis is important to determine which treatment option or surgical technique is the most effective for the particular correction needed.

Untreated, bunions worsen with time. A physician may suggest non-surgical or self-help options for initial treatment. If a bunion is not relieved by a change of shoes or other simple measures, then a more extensive evaluation of the foot, likely followed
by surgery, holds the greatest promise of relief.

Lowell General Hospital, 295 Varnum Avenue, Lowell, Massachusetts 01854, Main Telephone: (978) 937-6000
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