Common Foot Problems: Bunions
Bunions are one of the most common forefoot problems, experienced primarily by women. A bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. This bump is actually a bone protruding towards the inside of the foot. A primary cause of this condition is when women wear dress shoes that are too small for their feet; their toes are squeezed together in their shoes, causing the first metatarsal bone to protrude on the side of the foot. Wearing shoes that are tapered in the toe area or that are too small can cause a bunion to worsen to the point where surgery is necessary.
When the Shoe Fits can help by providing footwear solutions that offer the comfort and support required to treat the feet. (Come in to one of our four locations to have an expert fit you with an appropriate pair of comfort shoes.)
Some of the symptoms of bunions include inflammation, swelling and soreness around the joint of the big toe. The discomfort caused by this condition can also cause improper walking. With the continued movement of the big toe towards the smaller toes, it is common to find the big toe resting under or over the second toe. This causes another common forefoot condition called overlapping toes.
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Another type of bunion, a Tailor’s Bunion or bunionette, can form on the outside of the foot towards the joint at the little toe. This smaller bump forms when the little toe moves inwards towards the big toe.
The bunion or bunionette can develop from abnormal foot function or arthritis, but these deformities are more commonly caused by wearing improperly fitted footwear. Tight, narrow dress shoes with a constrictive, pointy toe box can cause the foot to begin to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion.
The best way to alleviate the pain associated with bunions is to wear properly fitted shoes with support to off weight the joint. Shoes designed with a high, wider toe box and orthoses are recommended for this condition to provide extra comfort, support and protection.