Bunions are one of the most prevalent foot deformities around. A bunion also called a hallux valgus is a deformity which affect the big toe joint. When you have a bunion typically the big toe will be positioned pointing towards the other toes of the foot, which usually will cause excessive pressure on the metatarsal bone on the big toe causing it to buckle outwards. Bunions are a result of your body’s natural response to excessive pressure on your toes. The skin and tissue around your big toe joint will often harden to help protect the your toe from further damage. The hardened skin and tissues may then become swollen, inflamed, and painful. Occasionally a fluid-filled sac called a bursa may grow over the joint also hammer toes may also occur as the big toe pushes up against the other toes making them crowded.
Research conducted in 2011 by the journal Arthritis Care and Research, discovered that 1 in 3 elderly adults suffer from at least one bunion on their feet, which significantly affects their mobility as a result.
Bunions have a tendency to be linked to genetics, however this does not necessarily mean that if you suffer from bunions, that your children will also get them too. Bunions are thought to be more widespread in this abnormally flexible joints, which can be hereditary.
Something which may boost your risk of developing bunions is through wearing ill fitting shoes which put excessive pressure on the bones and ligaments of your foot. High heeled shoes typically worn by women by women are also associated with bunion formation and are likely to be the answer why women have a higher incidence of bunions than men.
The most comm on risk factors that increase your rick of getting bunions are as follows:
-High heels. Wearing high heels can push your toes into unnatural positions and can cause crowding of your toes.
-Poorly fitted shoes. Individuals that wear poorly fitted shoes which have a toe box that is too narrow or pointed are more vulnerable to developing bunions.
-If you suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis. Individuals that suffer from this inflammatory condition will have a lot weaker toe joints and those are more prone to bunions as a result.
-Biomechanical imbalances such as over pronation can cause excessive pressure on the toes which can trigger the formation of bunions.
-Genetics may cause a predisposition to get bunions because of an inherited structural foot defect.
Sign and symptoms
The most common symptoms are soreness, inflammation and pain on the big toe. Sometime individuals may have large bunion which causes no pain at all but can bring about difficulties such as making shoes tighter and more uncomfortable to wear, whilst other bunion suffers may have smaller bunions which are a lot more painful.
The most common signs and symptoms of a bunion include:
A protruding bump on the side of the joint of the big toe
Inflammation or tenderness on your big toe joint
Corns and calluses and dry dead skin forming on your toes – This can often be caused when the big toe and second toe overlap each other.
Continual or sporadic pain on your big toe or ball of the foot.
Limited motion of your big toe
If you believe that you are suffering from a bunion it is always bets to go see your doctor who will be able to tell you the best treatments options for you.
Taking anti inflammatory drugs can help to reduce inflammation, also taking painkillers may also help to ease pain however these treatments only mask your symptoms.
For the most efficient treatment it is best to find out what is the underlining cause of you bunion.
Gel bunion pads and correctors can be used to help protect your bunion from further damage and help to support and realign your big toe into a more natural position in order to ease your bunion.
Performing stretches on your toes can also help. By doing toe stretches through out the day will help to boost circulation, increase red blood cell activity, and improve the alignment of your bones. The best way to stretch your toes to use a gel Toe stretcher which will gently straighten and stretch your toes. Changing your shoes to ones that have a wider toe box and support your feet and correct biomechanical imbalances such as over pronation can also help to ease bunions.
You can read more about the various treatments option for bunions here. If you have any questions then please use the comment form below or sign up to our forum and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.