A Bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. This bump is usually a result of abnormal motion of the 1st metatarsal toward the center of the body and the big toe toward the smaller toes, and is commonly associated with over-pronation. As a result, it is common to find the big toe overlapping or resting over the second toe. 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 which some individuals experience is called a Tailor’s Bunion, also known as a Bunionette. This forms on the outside of the foot towards the joint at the little toe. It is a smaller bump that forms due to the little toe moving inwards, towards the big toe.
Treatment and Prevention of Bunions
Bunions are a common problem experienced mostly by women. The deformity can develop from an abnormality in foot function, or arthritis, but is more commonly caused by wearing improper fitting footwear. Shoes that are too narrow 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. In the early stages of the formation of a bunion, soaking feet in warm water can provide temporary relief. The best way to alleviate the pain associated with bunions is to wear properly fitting shoes. Shoes designed with a wide toe box and soft, seamless or even flexible uppers are recommended. Shoes with rocker soles will unload pressure off the bunion area. Orthotics may give some pain relief and may slow the progression of the deformity, since abnormal pronation can indirectly cause bunions. Surgery can be a very successful option, but not normally your first, and should not be considered unless the pain due to the bunion is getting in the way of your daily activities. If you are unsure consult your foot doctor.