A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe, caused by the pressure of the big toe pushing against the toe next to it. Bunions are unsightly, and can be painful. Since that joint bears much of our weight while walking, bunions can lead to ongoing pain–sometimes even making it painful to wear shoes.
The Mayo Clinic lists these signs and symptoms of a bunion:
- A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe
- Swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint
- Corns or calluses, often developing where the first and second toes overlap
- Persistent or intermittent pain
- Restricted movement of your big toe if the toe is affected by arthritis
Here are some quick facts about bunions:
- Bunions sometimes run in families, but they can also be caused by the way we walk or the shoes we wear. Those most at-risk for bunions are those who wear poorly-fitting shoes over a long period of time.
- Bunions are common, especially among women, who make up 70 percent of bunion sufferers. One in four women patients is diagnosed between the ages of 30 and 40.
- Beyond family history, risk factors for bunions include flat feet, unusually flexible joints, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
- Bunions can result in other painful foot issues, such as hammertoes, bursitis, or pain in the balls of the feet.
- Smaller bunions called bunionettes can develop on the joint of your little toe.
- Bunions are considered permanent unless corrected by surgery. According to the Mayo Clinic, possible complications of bunions can include:
- Bursitis – a painful condition caused when the small, fluid-filled pads that cushion bones, tendons and muscles near your joints become inflamed
- Hammertoe – an abnormal bend in the middle toe joint, usually the toe next to your big toe, which can cause pressure and pain
- Metatarsalgia – a condition causing pain and inflammation in the ball of your foot
- You can help to prevent and/or relieve the discomfort of bunions by:
- Wearing shoes with a comfortable width rather than pointy toes
- Avoiding high-heeled shoes
- Performing simple foot exercises and stretches to reduce tension in that area
- Resting your legs and feet as needed to reduce fatigue
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Wearing orthotics to position the foot correctly
Foot Solutions can help you overcome your bunion issues. Come in for your FREE Holistic Foot Analysis and individualized recommendations for overall foot health and comfort. When your feet feel good, we feel good!