If you begin to feel pain in the middle joint of your big toe, it is quite possible that you may have a bunion. This deformity is caused by prolonged pressure that compresses the big toe and pushes it toward the smaller toes. This in turn causes the middle joint to push outward, resulting in a bony bump on the side of the foot. Besides a genetic disposition to bunions, wearing shoes that are too tight or too small is a major factor in their development. Side effects from bunions include pain in the joint of the big toe, corns, calluses, and difficulty wearing shoes. In some cases, the movement of the tip of the big toe toward the other toes causes it to overlap onto the second toe. This causes problems finding appropriate footwear and can have a negative effect on posture and gait. Wearing shoes with a wider and roomier toe box is one way to reduce the effects of a bunion. Also, avoiding high-heeled shoes can help. Foot pads are available to relieve some of the pressure, as well as wearing shoes made with mesh or more flexible materials. If you have a bunion, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation and recommendations for treatment.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.
- Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
- Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
- Redness and inflammation
- Pain and tenderness
- Callus or corns on the bump
- Restricted motion in the big toe
In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.