You may have heard people complaining about bunions, but do you know what exactly a bunion is? It’s an abnormal growth of bone on the toe. A bunion occurs near the base of the big toe, at the joint. When a bunion occurs on the small (5th) toe, it is called a bunionette.
Bunions often make the big toe look like it is crooked, as if it points toward the smaller toes. Bunions develop when the big toe is crowded against the smaller toes, bending the joint in the opposite direction. This results in the joint of the toe becoming enlarged, which further crowds the smaller toes.
Signs and Symptoms of a Bunion
In appearance, a bunion resembles a big lump on the side of the big toe, at the toe’s base. Often, the surrounding skin is red and calloused. Bunions are typically somewhat painful, primarily causing pain in the area of the foot immediately surrounding the bunion.
People who have bunions report the pain is worst when they are walking or just wearing shoes. Rest usually relieves the pain. However, in cases where the joint is further damaged by the development of arthritis, the pain may become chronic. In addition, redness, swelling, and tenderness can occur. Other medical issues, like gout and arthritis, can produce symptoms similar to bunions.
Diagnosis of Bunion
If you suspect that you have a bunion, you should see a doctor or podiatrist. The doctor will perform a physical exam to assess your foot and ask about the symptoms that you are experiencing. In many cases, x-rays are taken in order to get a better look at the condition of the foot’s bones.
In addition, x-rays help to reveal conditions that might be symptomatically similar to bunions or exacerbating the condition, such as arthritis or gout.
Causes of Bunions
Unfortunately, some people are just more likely to develop bunions due to genetics. The way that you walk can also be related to the development of bunions. If your gait is off, it causes the foot to be unstable and can lead to development of bunions. When a younger person develops bunions, it is usually due to a genetic predisposition or improper pronation.
Bunions can also be caused by an injury to the feet. Injuries such as fractures, sprains, and nerve damage can all precede the development of bunions. Certain medical conditions, particularly neuromuscular disorders, contribute to the development of bunions, as well.
In many cases, bunions are caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. When you wear shoes that are too small or narrow, your toes are cramped together in an abnormal position. High heels, in particular, are a common culprit in the development of bunions. Continuing to wear high heels when you have a bunion will just make the pain worse.
Who Gets Bunions?
Women develop bunions much more often than men – 10 times more often, as a matter of fact. People who suffer from an arthritic condition or whose feet are abnormally formed due to a genetic condition are also more likely to get bunions.
Treatment for Bunions
If you have foot pain caused by bunions, visit Foot Solutions UK. At Foot Solutions UK, we offer a full range of shoes, over the counter products & custom arch supports, that help to support & care for your feet. A lot of our shoes are made with “stretchable” leather in the bunion area, which means that your bunions will be comfortable from day one – “breaking in” of hard leather will be a thing of the past.
You don’t have to suffer through the day on painful feet. Come in to Foot Solutions to learn more about how we can help you – we stock a large variety of products to help ease the foot pain that you experience as a result of bunions.