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3 Early Signs of Bunions and How to Treat Them

3 Early Signs of Bunions and How to Treat Them

Bunions can be a real pain— literally and figuratively. These overgrowth bumps that form on the joint at the base of your big toe can cause significant discomfort and even impact your mobility. 

At Aesthetic Podiatry & Sports Medicine Center, Mariola Rivera, DPM, offers the latest technology and aesthetic procedures throughout Westchester, New York, and all surrounding areas of New York City tailored to your specific needs, ensuring the best possible outcome. Dr. Rivera specializes in recognizing early signs of bunions, helping you manage them effectively and prevent them from worsening.

In the meantime, we’ll also help you uncover three early signs of bunions and how to treat them.

1. Persistent pain and discomfort

One of the earliest signs of a bunion is persistent pain and discomfort in your big toe joint. This pain may occur after long periods of standing or walking and can feel like a dull ache or a sharp, burning sensation. Here’s what you need to know:

What to look for

Pain around the base of your big toe that worsens with activity, accompanied by a burning sensation, especially after wearing tight shoes, and tenderness when touched, are common symptoms of an aching joint.

How to treat

Regular toe stretches and exercises maintain flexibility and strengthen muscles around the joint. Physical therapy offers targeted treatments to improve mobility and reduce stiffness. Additionally, warm foot soaks relax your muscles, and medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce inflammation and enhance joint movement. We offer treatments without medications or injections such as, MLS laser treatments for a fast relief of the pain. 

2. Visible bump on your big toe joint

Another early sign of a bunion is the development of a visible bump on the outside of your big toe joint. This bump is caused by the misalignment of your toe joint and can become more pronounced over time. 

How to treat 

Avoid wearing high heels and narrow shoes; instead, choose footwear with plenty of room for your toes. Custom orthotic inserts can help correct your foot alignment, while toe spacers and protective padding can prevent your bunion from worsening. For more severe cases, we also offer advanced surgical options such as minimally invasive procedures or osteotomies.

3. Restricted movement of your big toe 

Last but not least, the third early sign of a bunion is a restricted movement in your big toe. You may notice that your big toe doesn’t move as freely as it used to, and it might feel stiff or stuck. Consider the following:

What to look for

Stiffness in your big toe makes it difficult to bend or straighten, while reduced flexibility limits your joint’s range of motion. You may also experience a sensation of catching or locking when moving your toe.

How to treat 

We recommend performing regular toe exercises to maintain your flexibility and strengthen the muscles around your joint. Additionally, MLS® laser therapy is also available to provide pain relief and enhance healing.

Ultimately, recognizing the early signs of bunions can help you take proactive steps to manage and treat them before they become a bigger problem. By choosing comfortable footwear, using custom orthotic inserts, performing toe exercises, and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can keep bunions at bay and maintain your foot health.

If you suspect you have a bunion or are experiencing any of these early signs, call or use our online booking tool to schedule an appointment at one of our offices today!

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