Want to know more about bunions, you are in the right place. Just keep reading. Just imagine a beautifully dressed lady or gentleman. Well-ironed blue blazer – check. Crisp white shirt – check. Fitted pants – check. A matching bag – check. And finally, a pair of heels with a pointed covered front to complete the power look.
While this is appealing to the eyes, it is not so for your weight-bearing joints. Your toes particularly are squashed into the pointed-covered shoes. Putting on heels tips your body weight forward, such that your weight is unevenly spread. Pressure on your toe can cause a bunion.
Bunions can become more painful and reddish after wearing tight-cover shoes for a long time. Even if you don’t have it, these shoes can trigger bunions if you are at risk of developing it.
This post will discuss how bunions form, who is at risk, and how they can be avoided amongst others.
What is a bunion?
It is a deformity of the joint between your toes and foot. It is most common with your big toe. The foot bone that is closest to your big toe shifts away from the midline while the toe moves in the opposite direction.
When this happens in your little toes, they are called bunionettes. A bunionette is like a bunion but is smaller and affects the little toe. It is also called tailor’s bunion because in the past, it was more commonly seen among tailors.
Bunions are generally more common in women.
This is how bunions form
Constant pressure over the toes can lead to the formation of a painful bony mass. Eventually, the skin over the area becomes thicker. It can then form corn and calluses. Over time, continuous pressure will cause pain in the area. In extreme cases, the toe becomes misaligned.
Who is at risk of a bunion?
If you have any of these risk factors for a bunion, avoid getting into the habit of putting on fitted, tight-cover shoes for prolonged periods.
You are prone to bunion if
You have arthritis – as it damages cartilage
Your job involves standing or walking for long periods e.g. teachers and nurses.
You are pregnant – pregnancy reduces tight attachment of ligaments
You have a foot deformity.
These foot deformities are mostly hereditary and can increase your risk of having a bunion
Flat feet when no space between the middle foot and the floor
What are the causes of bunions?
Bunions are a result of arthritis and heredity. However, constant pressure on the toes can also be a cause. Wearing pointed cover shoes or sitting positions that place pressure on either the big or small toe can trigger bunions and bunionettes.
How to tell if you have a bunion
A bunion feels like a hard lump at the side of your toe. It can become painful and reddish, and hot if you wear a tight shoe with little toe room for long periods.
You may also notice that you have started to develop other side effects of bunions.
Side effects of bunions
Damage to the other toes
Having these can cause a sedentary lifestyle, as you try not to bear weight and worsen the pain. It can also lead to disabilities.
Treatment of Bunions
Your doctor will first request an x-ray of the affected foot to judge the severity. Then decide based on your age and other factors if the surgery will benefit you.
Immediate treatment of acute pain is with NSAIDs, ice packs or warm soaks of your foot.
Conservative treatment aims at taking the pressure off the foot.
Wear shoes with a wide front for more toes room for the bunion
Protect the bunion with a gel-filled pad.
Semi-Soft Orthosis to reposition the foot may be recommended by a podiatrist or clinician.
Maintain a normal weight.
Splint the foot at night.
Surgical treatment of bunions
Bunions can be treated with surgery if conservative management fails or there is a deformity coexisting. May remove a part or most of it or rotate it and attach it with pins and screws.
Prevention of bunions
Wear shoes with wider leg room for the toes. Avoid pointed front cover shoes
Wear covered shoes that are not tight on your toes.
Avoid pressure on your toenails.
In Conclusion, bunions are a foot condition that runs in families. If you are susceptible, avoid tight pointed covered shoes as well as seating in a position that makes your toes rub against a surface. When this happens, a bunion will easily form.
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