Mahaska Health Partnership Cautions About Sandal Season
MAHASKA COUNTY – With spring and warmer weather finally here, high-heeled sandals and other fashion shoes will become a staple in many wardrobes. However, some shoes may cause foot problems, including bunions.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), a bunion is a bump on the joint at the base of the big toe. The bump is formed when the bone or tissue moves out of place. Because this joint carries much of the body’s weight while walking, bunions can become extremely painful.
“Bunions are a fairly common foot problem in women who wear narrow and high-heeled shoes,” MHP Podiatrist Dr. Mark Beers said. “The joint can become very tender and swollen, which can make wearing shoes difficult or even impossible.”
Bunions are mainly hereditary, but can be caused by foot injuries and other medical issues. Another common culprit is shoes that are too tight and squeeze the toes together.
“If you are experiencing redness, swelling or pain near the joint of your big toe, or notice a bump that is firm along the side of your foot, you may have a bunion,” shared Dr. Beers. “If left untreated, this condition becomes worse over time.”
A podiatrist can determine the severity of the bunion and offer a variety of treatment options, including padding and tapping, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and/or orthotics or shoe inserts. When early treatments fail or the bunion is too severe, foot surgery may be necessary to relieve pressure and repair the toe joint.
Dr. Beers said the following steps may help prevent or slow down the progression of bunions:
§ Avoid shoes with a narrow toe box
§ If your foot flattens excessively, make sure you wear supportive shoes
§ See your podiatrist at the first signs or symptoms of a bunion
“Foot care has become a big issue as we think about overall quality of life,” Dr. Beers cautioned. “If you are experiencing foot problems, your everyday activities can be affected. Take care of your feet, they’re the only set you’ve got!”
For an appointment with MHP Podiatrist Dr. Mark Beers, call 641.672.3450.