Family and Feet

Did you know that some foot conditions are inherited? One common foot condition is a bunion. For most people, this bump along the big toe joint is noticeable but painless; for others, this condition can cause pain. The doctors at New England Podiatry Associates help provide information — and relief — to those who may have gotten more than eye color or hair type from a family member. If you experience pain in the area of your big toe and have a bump around your large toe joint, you may have inherited a toe deformity. 

Besides family history, are there other causes?

In addition to an inherited foot type, other common causes include wearing high-heeled or ill-fitting shoes or experiencing foot injuries. Bunions are also common with different types of arthritis or in people who experience a lot of stress on their feet throughout the workday.

How does a bunion form?

When your big toe begins to push up against your other toes, your big toe joint moves in the opposite direction (outwardly and away from the normal profile of your foot). While this may not bother some people, a bunion can become increasingly painful while walking or doing other movement activities. It’s best to see a podiatrist at the first sign of development. A foot and ankle expert can provide ways to prevent or reduce pain.

Is surgery the only solution?

No, there are other conservative treatments to try before considering surgery. The goal is to provide comfort and reduce pain, but these treatments will not remove the toe deformity. Non-surgical treatments include:

  • Changing shoes
  • Adding padding or cushion
  • Modifying activities
  • Using medication
  • Icing the area
  • Wearing orthotics

If you inherited a bunion, no worries. Our doctors will work with you to find the treatment that works best for you and allows you to continue your regular activities. Visit us soon by calling (617) 630-8280. You can visit our doctors at two locations: Chestnut Hill, which serves Norfolk, Suffolk, and Middlesex counties; and Newton Wellesley Hospital, which serves Middlesex County.

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