Big things can come in small packages. If you have a bunionette, you’ve probably been made painfully aware of this truth on numerous occasions, perhaps while trekking the Lady Bird Hike-and-Bike Trail or enjoying one of Austin’s many live music festivals. Fortunately, there are some remedies you can try to keep discomfort to a minimum.
When toe pain strikes, an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen (if you can take it safely) can help control swelling and dull the discomfort. Whether you can take such medications or not, periods of resting and icing the affected joint can also bring relief. Obviously this won’t cure the bunionette and you don’t want to rely on these methods over the long term, but they can help in a pinch when symptoms are at their worst.
Generally speaking, the best approach is to avoid irritating the bump on your toe as much as possible. That means avoiding high heels and tight, rigid shoes. Stick to square toe boxes with lots of room for digits to wiggle, plenty of cushioning, and heels that max out at 2” or lower. Give yourself at least half an inch of space between the front of the shoe and your longest toe. You can even get your existing pairs of shoes stretched or extended by a good, local shoemaker.
Certain over-the-counter inserts may be beneficial as well. Perhaps the most helpful are bunionette pads, which can often be found at drug stores or big box retailers. These go over the swollen area and protect it from the painful pressure and friction caused by rubbing against the inside of your shoe. A toe spacer placed between your fourth and fifth digits may also bring relief.
If these remedies aren’t cutting it, don’t give up—call Dr. Keith McSpadden of North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute today at 512-593-2949. You could benefit from additional treatments, such as physical therapy, orthotics, or surgery. Our conveniently located offices serve the Greater Austin community in Cedar Park and Round Rock, TX.