Many people will know what a bunion is because they may have problems with it. For those who don’t know about bunions, simply put, a bunion is a bony bump on the inside of the foot that forms at the joint where the big toe attaches to the foot. This is when the big toe moves away from its normal angle and starts gradually moving toward the second toe. This movement makes the bump on the toe larger as it gradually moves away from its normal position.
When a bunion worsens, it can become painful and sometimes it can lead to deformities in the second toe which is known as hammertoe. This too can be painful. . Instability and muscle imbalance can cause the big toe to slant in toward the other toes. Bunions are often hereditary.
Bunions can become sore and inflamed, especially if rubbed by a shoe. Tight shoes do not cause bunions, but it can make it worse. This is why women are more likely to suffer from bunions than men.
There are ways in which pain can be eased. Try the following suggestions and see if they will work for you:
Choose shoes that are larger around the toe area.
Put a piece of foam or cotton between the affected toes to see if it eases the pain or pressure.
Place padding around the bunion to relieve pressure and rubbing from shoes. Moleskins and bunion pads are available at most drugstores.
Use an arch support to see if it will help any discomfort.
See your doctor if pain lasts, interferes with walking, or is not relieved with self-care.
According to the book, “The American Medical Association, Encyclopedia of Medicine,” Large bunions may require surgery in order to remove the swollen tissue. Unless treated, a bunion can get worse.
Bunions can eventually lead to arthritis of the joint in the big toe. This is caused by the wearing down of the cartilage in the joint. There are other problems that can occur due to bunions. This is when the second toe moves over the big toe. This can cause pain at the bottom of the foot which can progress to a more painful stage.
If bunions cannot be helped by using the above suggestions, then there should be a consultation with a podiatrist.
Source: A Practical Guide to Everyday Health Decisions
Foot and Ankle Institute of the West