Even though bunions are probably one of the most common feet deformities, there are still a lot of misconceptions around them. Bunions are defined as a deformity of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot. Generally it develops slowly over time, as the toe deviates towards the outside of the foot and pain can develop.
Painful bunions can keep you from physical exercise or even walking. Once it develops, it cannot be reversed but you can keep them from getting worse!
Causes of Bunions
Bunions most commonly form as a result of uncomfortable foot wear. Especially when the feet are repeatedly squeezed into narrow, pointed-toe footwear, forcing your feet in an uncomfortable position and cramping your toes. It is very common for women who wear high heels on a regular basis to develop bunions because they tip the body’s weight forward.
For some people bunions simply run in the family and it is caused by their bone structure and the way their feet are shaped. Certain foot types make the person prone to developing bunions. Conditions like flat feet,low arches and loose joints and tendons all increase the risk.
What Are The Signs of Bunions?
In addition to the visible deformity on your, the signs and symptoms of bunions may include:
- Inflamed red skin, swelling or soreness around your big toe joint.
- Corns or calluses — often developed from your big toe turning against your other toes
- Pain in your feet that often comes and goes
- Decreased flexibility in your big toe
- In more serious cases inability to find shoes that fit you comfortably
How Are Bunions Diagnosed and Treated?
A visible inspection is often all that’s needed to diagnose bunions. The doctor may ask you to move your toes to see the stage of the bunion and if it affects the range of motion of the feet. An X-ray may pinpoint the cause and the severity of the bunion.
The treatment can vary depending on the severity of your bunion. In some cases a simple change of shoes can ease the pain. The doctor can help you choose the right kind of shoes for your feet that have padded soles and provide adequate wiggle room for your toes. Wearing comfortable fitted shoes can also prevent the bunion from getting worse over time. Other non- surgical solutions may include wearing over-the-counter arch supports in your shoes or having a physical pad that can cushion the area near the bunion that hurts.
If the non-surgical options don’t work, a surgery is needed. There are several kinds of surgeries to fix bunions, your doctor will advise which one is the best for your situation. Most surgeries will include the correction of the position of the big toe and the removal of the swollen tissue from the affected joints. The recovery generally takes 8 to 10 weeks.