Originally from the East Anglican word "bunny," the word "bunion" means "swelling." Also called "hallux valgus," it describes a protrusion at the base of the big toe. Bunions are nine to ten times more frequent in women than in men. Because our big toe joint helps to bear and distribute weight during most activities, it is important to know how to slow bunion development, control the pain, and decide when to opt for surgery. Hammer Toe - A tightening of ligaments and tendons causing the toe joints to buckle, forcing the toe upward and leading to shoe abrasion, inflammation, bursitis, corns and calluses. However, if you do that too many nights in a row it can become painful because your skin becomes too soft. So go through that process every other night for a week or so, but continue to put the lotion on in the morning and at night on the days when you are not using the pumice stone. A person with diabetes must become well acquainted with their feet. It is necessary for them to check their feet daily, so that they can notice any changes and take proper action in a timely manner. It is necessary for them to check between the toes, top and bottom of the foot. Another cause of heel pain is a condition called "heel spur syndrome." This condition can usually be treated with conservative actions such as the use of anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices and physical therapy. If these conservative methods fail, surgery is required to release the ligament through a tiny incision in the heel. Several other conditions are thought to increase your chances of developing bunions. For example, conditions that are associated with loose ligaments (ligamentous laxity), flexible joints and low muscle tone could increase the likelihood of bunions developing. These conditions are listed below. Local cold pack is use sometimes helpful as well. If you must wear heels, make sure the shoe is not taut and narrow at the toes and try to avoid wearing heels for large periods of time. Orthotics can help slow the progression of the bunion and also treat the associated symptoms. Bunion night splints can reduce the size of the bunion. This will straighten the bunion while you sleep. A Bunion Shield can reduce the pain over the bunion. Apply a moisturizer such as flexitol heel balm twice daily to hard skin or corns and use a pumice stone to reduce the thickness of the hard skin. Plantar Fasciitis. The stretching or tearing of the plantar fascia, which supports the arch of the foot. Treat plantar Fasciitis with heel pads, splinting and physical therapy. Sometimes shock wave treatments are used as an alternative to surgery. Ulcer. An open wound on the foot. Foot Ulcers are especially common and especially dangerous among people with diabetes and lymphedema. They must be treated aggressively to ensure infection does not spread. Using the Forward Arch® Corrective Orthotic or Tri-Support will help stabilize the bone structure of the foot, relieving the pressure of pulling the ligaments and tendons. This alignment also helps the lower back, hip, knee and lower leg. Bunions If you have a bunion that is causing pain and disfigurement you should see an orthopedic surgeon to discuss the best bunions treatment for your case. You can find an orthopedic surgeon by searching for one online are by being referred to one by your general practitioner medical doctor. Injection therapy is also available for bunions treatment. This is where corticosteroids are injected to relieve the inflamed fluid filled sac called the bursa that is located in the joint on the big toe. You can also purchase a bunion pad or a bunion shield to help reduce the pain of the bunion when walking. An individual with the lower legs angulating inward, a condition called genuvalgus or "knock knees," can have a tendency toward excessive pronation. As aresult, this too can lead to a fallen arch resulting in plantar fascitis andheel spurs. Women tend to have more genu valgus than men do. Heel spurs canalso result from an abnormally high arch. The pain this condition causes forces an individual to attempt walking on hisor her toes or ball of the foot to avoid pressure on the heel spur. This canlead to other compensations during walking or running that in turn cause additional problems to the ankle, knee, hip, or back.