A bunion is a bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe. Bunions form when the toe moves out of place. This causes friction and pressure as your toe and the side of your foot rubs against the shoe you are wearing. Over time, the movement of the big toe angles in toward the other toes. Bunions can also lead to other toe problems like hammertoes.
If you are feeling discomfort and pain from the constant irritation, rubbing, and friction of the side of your toe and foot against shoes, this could be a bunion. Bunions get bigger with time, and the pain during walking will grow because you flex this joint as you step. Bunions can combine with bursitis or arthritis and everyday walking may become chronic pain.
Bunions happen when you wear shoes that don't fit properly or are too tight. They aren't hereditary, but they do tend to run in families. Other times bunions can be caused by foot injuries or flat feet.
Because they are bone deformities, bunions do not resolve by themselves.
Treatment for Bunions
When we treat bunions, first we want to relieve the pressure and pain, then we want to stop the bunion from growing more.
how to reduce pain caused by bunions:
- Ask your doctor for protective felt padding eliminates friction and inflammation
- Get other corns and calluses on your feet removed
- Make sure you are wearing the right size of shoes to accommodate the bunion
- Orthotics and night splints help put your foot in the correct position
- Doing foot exercises for joint mobility will prevent stiffness or arthritis
Depending on the size of the bunion and your pain, the conservative treatments above may not be enough. This is when we discuss a surgery called a bunionectomy to remove the bunion and realign your toe.