What are bunions?
Bunions, referred to in the medical community as Hallux Valgus, are one of the most common forefoot problems.
A bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. This bump is actually a bone protruding towards the inside of the foot. With the continued movement of the big toe towards the smaller toes, it is common to find the big toe resting under or over the second toe. This causes a common forefoot condition called overlapping toes. Some of the symptoms of bunions include inflammation, swelling, and soreness on the side surface of the big toe. The discomfort commonly causes a patient to walk improperly.
Another type of bunion is called a Tailor’s Bunion, also known as a Bunionette. This is a smaller bump on the outside of the foot at the joint at the little toe that forms due to the little toe moving inwards, towards the big toe.
What are the causes and symptoms of bunions?
Bunions are a common problem experienced mostly by women that can develop from arthritis or an abnormality in foot function but is more commonly caused by improper fitting footwear. Tight, narrow dress shoes with a constrictive toe box can cause the foot to begin to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion. Women with bunions commonly have worn dress shoes that squeezed their toes together, causing the first metatarsal bone to protrude on the side of the foot.
Wearing dress shoes and boots that are tapered in the toe area can cause the bunion to worsen to the point where surgery is necessary.
How do you treat and prevent bunions?
In the early stages of bunion formation, soaking feet in warm water can provide temporary relief. The best way to alleviate bunion pain is to wear properly fitting shoes. Always wear shoes made of soft leather or materials that form around the bunion. The bunion area should be void of seams. Shoes designed with a high, wide toe box are recommended for people suffering from forefoot disorders such as bunions. Shoes with rocker soles will unload pressure to the bunion area. Orthotics are also recommended for this condition to provide extra comfort, support, and protection.
Other conservative treatments include forefoot products such as bunion shields, bunion night splints, and bunion bandages, all of which can limit the progression of the bunion formation, relieve pain, and provide a healthy environment for the foot.
If the problem persists, consult your doctor. Your Fit Specialist at Stan’s will advise you on appropriate footwear for your condition.
Courtesy of foot.com