What is it?
A bone deformity caused by an enlargement of the joint at the base and side of the big toe, when toes moves out of place.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
Wearing shoes that are too tight is the leading cause of bunions.
Bunions tend to be hereditary, but can be aggravated by shoes that are too narrow in the forefoot and toe.
Though not always hereditary, they do tend to run in some families, usually due to a faulty foot structure.
what contributes to it?
As the joint flexes with each step, the bigger the bunion, the more it hurts.
Foot injuries, neuromuscular problems, pronated and flat feet can contribute to their formation.
Many people with bunions suffer painful discomfort from the constant irritation and friction of the enlargement against shoes.
how do we treat it?
Bunions do not self-heal as they are considered bone deformities.
The aim of bunion treatment is twofold – first, to relieve the pressure and pain caused by irritations.
Second, depending on the bunion size, toe misalignment and pain level, to stop any progressive growth of the enlargement.
Commonly used methods for reducing pressure and pain caused by bunions include:
- Exercises to maintain joint mobility and prevent stiffness.
- Changing to well fitted shoes to accommodate the bunion – not contribute to its growth.
- Protective padding, often made from felt material, to eliminate the friction against shoes to help alleviate inflammation.
- Orthotic devices—both over-the-counter and custom made—to help stabilise the joint and place the foot in the correct position for walking and standing.
- Splints for nighttime wear to help the toes and joint align properly – recommended for adolescents with bunions, as their bone development may still be adaptable.