Do You Have Bunions?
A bunion (Medically known as Hallux Valgus) is a “bump” on the joint at the base of the big toe, the bump is actually extra bones protruding out from the joint. It is one of the most common forefoot problems we see in a podiatry clinic. A bunion forces the big toe to bend toward the lesser toes, often causing overlapping toes. Because this joint carries a lot of the body’s weight while walking, bunions can cause extreme pain if left untreated.
Bunions form when the normal balance of forces that is exerted on the joints and tendons of the foot becomes disrupted. This disruption can lead to instability in the joint and cause the deformity. It is a common problem found mostly in women. The deformity can develop from an abnormality in foot function, or arthritis, but is more commonly caused by wearing improper fitting footwear. Tight, narrow dress shoes with narrow toe box can cause the foot to begin to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion.
- Development of a firm bump on the outside edge of the foot, at the base of the big toe
- Redness, swelling, or pain at or near the big toe joint
- Corns or other irritations caused by the overlap of the first and second toes
- Restricted or painful motion of the big toe
- In many cases foot mobilisation can be an effective alternative podiatry therapy for bunions. Foot mobilisation is a painless, gentle hands-on approach that involves straightening the big toe by realigning and strengthening specific areas of the foot.
- Avoid narrow and tight shoes and wear proper fitting shoes.
- Orthotics are also recommended for this condition to provide extra comfort, support, and protection.
- Other conservative treatments include using forefoot products designed to accommodate and relieve bunions such as bunion shields, bunion night splints, and bunion bandages. These conservative treatments can limit the progression of the bunion formation, relieve pain and provide a healthy environment for the foot.