A bunion is a bony bump that forms outside the base of your big toe, usually due to years of pressure on the joint. It is a common foot deformity in the United States, affecting 1 in 3 Americans, especially older people and women. The skin over bunions Lenox Hills is usually red and sore, which can cause discomfort when you put on shoes. Although bunions typically don’t require medical treatment, consider seeing a podiatrist if you have decreased movement on the big toe or problems finding shoes that fit correctly because of the bunion.
Signs of a bunion
A bunion usually resembles a turnip since it is a bulging bump covered in red skin. If you have a bunion, the affected toe may produce pain or a burning sensation when you try to bend it. You may develop corns or calluses when the first and second toes rub against each other. The discomfort from bunions may make it difficult to wear shoes regularly. The big to may feel numb, and you may develop a hammertoe.
Causes of bunions
There is no known reason why bunions develop, but different theories about the development of bunions exist. For example, foot stress due to pressure from how you walk or the shape of your foot may eventually cause the big toe to pull towards the other toes. Wearing high-heeled or narrow shoes and standing for long hours worsens the bunions, but the bunion does not cause the problem. Certain types of inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, are also associated with bunions. While there are no specific causes of bunions, certain factors put you at risk of developing this foot deformity.
For example, when you wear high heels, your toes may crowd into the front of your shoes, causing pressure on the joint of your big toe. Individuals who wear ill-fitting shoes are more likely to develop bunions. Footwear that is too tight or has insufficient space for the toes causes extra pressure on your big toe. A problem with the structure or anatomy of your feet can predispose you to this foot deformity.
How can I prevent bunions?
Your choice of footwear is key to preventing bunions and keeping an existing bunion from worsening. Generally, your shoes should have a wide toe box, ensuring that none of your toes press against each other. Avoid ill-fitting shoes or footwear that is narrow and pointed at the tip. High heels can also put pressure on the front part of the foot, so wear them less often. If you have an inherited structural foot problem, consider custom-fitted orthotics.
Treatment of bunions
Bunions usually do not go away, and treatment focuses on managing the symptoms. Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter pads or medial tape to cushion the area and ease the pain. Sometimes changing your footwear can help take pressure off your toes. For example, you can switch from pointed, narrow shoes to shoes with wide-toe boxes. Orthotic devices such as a splint can keep the big toe straight at night. Custom-made shoe inserts are suitable for controlling alignment issues that may contribute to bunion formation. If non-surgical methods don’t work and the bunion affects your walking, surgery may be an option.
Visit your specialist at DeLoor Podiatry Associates to get help with bunions.