Bunions, they can be a real pain! There are lots of different complexities to consider when it comes to bunions plus a lot of pre-conceived notions about the condition.
We wanted to break down the causes, symptoms and solutions so you can make a well-rounded, independent decision on your health.
Firstly, what is a bunion?
A bunion occurs when the big toe begins to move directly towards the second toe.
One of the biggest myths is that bunions occur from an overgrowth of bone. For a few people this might be true, but it is the minority, the bunion really represents a dislocation of the big toe joint and it bulges against the skin around the toe. This bony part that sticks out from your foot is what is commonly called the bunion. Over time we sometimes see the bunion area become irritated, red and/or callused.
What actually causes bunions?
Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion, in essence, bunions can be genetically inherited.
There is a myth that wearing shoes that crowd the toes will cause bunions, and we can confirm this is not true! Wearing the wrong shoes may make symptoms worse or appear sooner, but they are not the cause.
How do I know if I have a bunion?
The most common symptoms of bunions can be:
- Pain or soreness
- Inflammation and redness
- A burning sensation
- Possible numbness
As we explained symptoms occur most often when wearing shoes that crowd the toes, such as shoes with a tight toe box or high heels. This may explain why women are more likely to have symptoms than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms of bunions!
Will My Bunion Get Worse?
This can very much vary from case by case. In some instances, we can see bunions progress very quickly where as others develop over time. There is also no age limit to bunion progression – there can be rapid onset in teenagers as well as much senior adults. The bunions are all very much based on individual people.
Is there any way you can ease the pain naturally?
Remember, natural treatments will not reverse the bunion but they can help ease the pain.
Some things to consider:
- Wearing the right shoes. Wearing the right kind of shoes is very important. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box and forgo those with pointed toes or high heels, which may aggravate the condition.
- Use soft padding.Pads placed over the area of the bunion can help reduce pain.
- Avoid certain activity. Avoid activity that causes bunion pain, including standing for long periods of time or consistent running.
- Applying an ice pack several times a day helps reduce inflammation and pain.
- Orthotic devices.In some cases, custom orthotic devices can help ease the pain, we can provide advice on what suits you best.
Unfortunately for some of us bunions are just a part of life, however there are many ways to ease the symptoms and reduce the progression.
At ProMed Podiatry we have the expertise to help you manage your bunions and can support you if you are living in pain. We want to help you live your best life – so book an appointment today!