Bunions, referred to in the medical community as Hallux Valgus, are one of the most common forefoot problems. A bunion is a bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. A bunion is actually a bone protruding toward the inside of the foot. With the continued movement of the big toe toward the smaller toes, it is common to find the big toe resting under or over the second toe, causing a condition called overlapping toes. Some of the symptoms of bunions include inflammation, swelling, and soreness on the side surface of the affected big toe. As a result of the pain, patients commonly walk improperly.
A Bunionette, or Tailor’s Bunion, is another type of bunion. Bunionettes form on the outside of the foot toward the joint at the little toe. It is a smaller bump than a bunion, and it forms due to the little toe moving inwards, toward the big toe.
What Causes Bunions?
Bunions are a common problem, typically experienced by women. The deformity can develop from an abnormality in foot function, or arthritis, but is more commonly caused by wearing improper fitting footwear. Tight, narrow dress shoes with a constrictive toe box (toe area) can cause the foot to begin to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion. Women who have bunions normally wear dress shoes that are too small for their feet. Their toes are squeezed together in their shoes causing the first metatarsal bone to protrude on the side of the foot. In this instance, beauty really is pain!
It is important for men and women to realize that wearing dress shoes and boots, which are tapered in the toe area, can cause the bunion to worsen to the point where surgery is necessary.
How To Treat & Prevent Bunions
To prevent development of bunions, it is critical to ensure that your feet are measured regularly and that you have properly fitting footwear. Avoid footwear with narrow, pointy toes. Opt for options that have high, wide toe boxes that can properly accommodate your foot.
Some of the most common non-surgical treatments for bunions include:
- Soaking feet in warm water, ice packs or a whirlpool (temporary relief)
- Wearing properly fitted footwear with a high, wide toe box
- Shoes with rocker soles to unload pressure in the bunion area
- Orthotics to provide extra comfort, support and protection
- Forefoot products including: bunion shields, bunion night splints and bunion bandages
- Maintain a normal body weight to alleviate pressure on the feet
- Foot massage with essential oils (Young Living’s PanAway, followed up with Peppermint after can be very effective in relieving pain)
The most important thing to focus on with bunions is prevention! In some more severe cases of bunions, surgery may be necessary. I am a big believer that treating your feet properly from the start is SO important so you can avoid painful and inconvenient conditions like bunions.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only. The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional. You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.