Dr. Brandon Nelson, a Board Certified Bunion Expert, Discusses How to Treat Your Bunion Non-Surgically

Dr. Brandon Nelson, a Board Certified Bunion Expert, Discusses How to Treat Your Bunion Non-Surgically


Bunions can be very challenging for patients, especially if you are active and enjoy activities like hiking and running. The bunion itself is primarily an inherited foot structure issue that gets worse with time. I think that is a good point to revisit. The only way to stop your bunion from increasing with time is to stop walking. I say that to highlight the fact your bunion will get bigger, however the rate of development can be slowed or even fixed. There are many options for conservative measures and I will discuss a few.

Bigger and wider shoes, this is probably the most common measure. Buying your shoes like this will allow more room for the bunion and often alleviate some of the pressure issues. However, this does nothing to treat or even slow down the bunion.

Stretching, splinting, toe spacers, straps that are all over the internet and shoe stores. These do absolutely nothing to prevent or reverse your bunion. There are quite a few variations on these, but if your bunion could be fixed with a strap or padding we would never have the need to operate on a bunion. The main thing to remember this is a bone deformity, a mal-alignment of bones that is inherited. The bunion itself gets bigger when you place pressure on it. Strapping and toe spacers do sometimes provide a little bit of soft tissue stretching that can temporarily make your pain less.

Over the counter inserts, again not much help. Your feet are unique to you and the position of your bones are usually not in the correct place with a bunion. The best option here is to go with a custom molded prescription orthotic. Our clinic has worked with a local lab to develop a bunion specific orthotic that can actually slow down the development of your bunion. Do not waste your money on an over the counter, even the inserts that are molded to your foot are not enough.

If you have bunion pain, make an appointment today so we can help you slow your bunion growth and eliminate the pain.

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