A bunion (hallus valgus) is a painful bony bump that forms gradually on the joint at the base of your big toe as a result of abnormal motion, instability and faulty biomechanics..
Pressure on the big toe joint causes it to become misaligned resulting in the big toe pushing towards the second toe. Over time, the normal structure of the bone changes forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out.
Bunions start out small but they usually get worse over time (especially if the individual continues to wear tight, narrow running shoes. Because the MTP joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more painful and difficult running can become. Bunions are more likely to occur in people who have unusually flexible joints and that this flexibility may be inherited.
An advanced bunion can greatly alter the appearance of the foot. In severe cases bunions can cause the big toe may angle all the way under or over the second toe. Pressure from the big toe may force the second toe also out of alignment causing it to come in contact with the third toe. Calluses may develop where the toes rub against each other causing additional discomfort and difficulty running resulting in the bunion bump. This deformity may gradually increase and making it painful to wear running shoes or to run. In most cases bunion pain is relieved by wearing wider shoes.
Causes of Bunions
● Inherited foot type
● Foot injuries
● Deformities present at birth (congenital)
● Tight or worn footwear may contribute to bunion development.
● Flat feet
● Low or fallen arches
● Foot injuries
● Inflammatory joint disease
Symptoms of Bunions
● A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe.
● Swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint.
● Corns or calluses, these often develop where the first and second toes overlap.
● Persistent or intermittent pain.
● Restricted movement of your big toe if arthritis affects the toe.
Although bunions often require no medical treatment, you should see your doctor or a specialist who specializes in treating foot disorders (podiatrist or orthopedic foot specialist) if you have
● Persistent big toe or foot pain.
● A visible bump on your big toe joint.
● Decreased movement of your big toe or foot.
● Difficulty finding shoes that fit properly because of a bunion.
● Certain health conditions, such as arthritis or rhumatoid arthritis and gout which can lead to the formation of bunions causing pain and inflammation in the joints. .
Treatments for Bunions
● Modifying footwear.
● Orthotic insoles, bunion pads and toe spacers.
An advanced bunion can greatly alter the appearance of the foot. In severe bunions, the big toe may angle all the way under or over the second toe. Pressure from the big toe may force the second toe out of alignment, causing it to come in contact with the third toe.
Calluses may develop where the toes rub against each other, causing additional discomfort and difficulty running.
Surgery may be considered if symptoms are severe and do not respond to non surgical treatment.
Icing the area to ease swelling and pain longer for no longer than twenty minutes at a time to prevent ice burn as your foot has less tissue and muscle than other parts of your body. If you have nerve damage or circulation problems, talk to you doctor before putting an ice pack on your feet.
Choosing the appropriate footwear after bunions develop is crucial for relieving pain. The best types of shoes will provide enough space for your feet to rest comfortably. They will also provide the necessary structure and support to correct the biomechanical issues that initially caused the bunions. Wearing bunion inserts can also reduce your discomfort and prevent your bunions from getting worse.
Special pads can cushion the area near the bunion that hurts. But talk to your doctor first, or test the pad for a short period to see if it helps. If it’s the wrong size for you, it can add pressure and cause more problems.
Because bunions are associated with flat feet and unstable arches, bunion shoe inserts and orthotics that provide superior arch support – Tread Labs Stride – will help prevent the development of this painful condition.