Prevention is best medicine for bunions

Early prevention of bunions helps avoid foot pain

Preventive care avoids bunionsBunions are a common source of foot pain among Americans, affecting an estimated 36 percent of individuals - according to a study that was published in the February issue of Arthritis Care and Research - and impacting the mobility and quality of life of many.

The bony protrusion that occurs at the joint of the big toe is often made much worse by fashionable shoes. After the deformity reaches an advanced stage, correction can be difficult or painful, so podiatrist Mark Forman recommends choosing footwear wisely.

"Being that it is often a hereditary condition, it is important that patients take extra precautions when it comes to their feet if other family members have suffered from bunions. Ninety percent of sufferers tend to be women, which makes it even more important for women to watch what they wear," said Dr. Forman,

In addition to avoiding high heels and pointy toed shoes, Forman said orthotics may be helpful in correcting foot landing mechanics, which have been known to exacerbate bunions.

Also, bunion splints can be used to prevent bunions in individuals who are at a high risk for developing the deformity.

If, despite prevention efforts, bunions do appear, bunion splints or orthotics may be able to correct the conditions without the need for painful bunion surgery

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