About Bunions on Feet (Hallux Valgus)
A bunion, or Hallux Valgus to use the correct medical terminology, is a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe and is one of the most common forefoot problems.
The main sign of bunions on feet is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. This bump is the bone protruding towards the inside of the foot. Another type of bunion is called a Tailor’s Bunion, also known as a Bunionette. This smaller bump forms on the outside of the foot towards the little toe joint.
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Treatment and Prevention of Bunions
The best way to alleviate the pain associated with bunions is to wear properly fitting shoes. Shoes designed with a high, wide toe box (toe area) are recommended for people suffering from forefoot disorders, such as bunions.
Orthotics are also recommended for this condition to provide extra comfort, support, and protection. Other conservative treatments include using forefoot products designed to accommodate and relieve bunions such as bunion shields, bunion night splints, and bunion bandages. These conservative treatments can limit the progression of bunion formation, relieve pain and provide a healthy environment for the foot.
• Choose shoes carefully. They should have a wide toe box – no pointy toes and there should be space between the tip of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
• Your shoes should conform to the shape of your feet without squeezing or pressing any part of your foot.
What Causes a Bunion?
Bunions are a common problem experienced mostly by women. The deformity can develop from an abnormality in foot function, or arthritis, but is more commonly caused by wearing improper-fitting footwear. However, there are many theories about how bunions develop, but the exact cause is unknown. These may include:
- Inherited foot type
- Foot injuries
- Deformities present at birth
It is important for men and women to realise that wearing shoes and boots, which are tapered in the toe area, can cause the bunion to worsen to the point where surgery may be necessary.