Many people think of bunions as a condition afflicting elderly feet or women who frequently wear high heels, but guess what? Bunions usually are the result of an inherited trait, and that means if Grandma has them, you – and your child! – are predisposed to get them too!
When kids get bunions, it is vital to slow progression since they have many years for the bunion to continually get worse. The longer the bunion goes untreated, the more likely your child will have resulting foot issues later in life, including difficulty wearing shoes and participating in favorite activities. Here’s what you can do:
Get new, back-to-school shoes. As tempting as it is to pass down a sibling’s pair, don’t do it! Footwear that has already been worn and formed to another’s feet can cause a host of problems. If your child is trying to squeeze into last year’s shoes, that’s not good, either! Tight shoes that crowd toes and place pressure on them can encourage an already vulnerable big toe joint to be pushed out of alignment, or aggravate and worsen a joint that has already shifted. Instead, go shopping for new children’s shoes that offer plenty of wiggle room.
Have your child’s foot structure assessed. Sometimes the foot structure you’re born with can make you even more prone to problems like bunions. Orthotic shoe inserts can hide inside shoes and correct gait abnormalities, hold feet in proper alignment, and negate issues that could contribute to bunion formation and aggravation.
Teach your child to make bunion stretches a part of his or her daily routine. Exercises like pulling the big toe joint outward and holding it in place for a count of ten can help slow progression as well as relieve painful symptoms.
Use products to protect and prevent progression. Bunion pads placed on the big toe joint will add a layer of protection between the problem area and your child’s shoe, reducing pressure and irritation. Night splints hold the toe in place while your child sleeps, encouraging correct alignment.
If all else fails, consider surgery. If all conservative methods have been tried but don’t seem to be slowing the bunion’s development or easing discomfort, surgery can help correct the problem and ensure your child is pain-free and able to participate in activities.
If you notice a bony bump forming on your child’s big toe joint, don’t delay! Call us for help by dialing (512) 593-2949 in Round Rock or Cedar Park, TX. It’s essential to slow the progression at the first signs of a bunion forming to ensure a pain-free, active life!