Bunions are a common foot problem that can be painful to live with. But, many people don’t know what they are, how they develop or what to do if you actually have a bunion. We’ll discuss these issues about bunions.
A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the great toe of the foot. This bony lump can usually be felt on the outside of your toe at first. It might not cause any pain until later when it becomes inflamed and tightens up around the toe joint causing severe discomfort.
As the bunion begins to enlarge and develop, you’ll often see the great toe deviate to the middle and cause an angle at the joint of the big toe.
Bunions seem to be caused by a number of factors including wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow, having a family history of bunions, and being overweight.
It appears that changes in the biomechanics of the foot (causing additional stress on the great toe) can be the potential start of bunion formation. This additional stress causes the joint to become arthritic and angled.
Bunions symptoms can include pain, swelling and redness of the joint. The symptoms typically worsen with prolonged standing or walking as well as climbing stairs. Anything that causes excessive movement or irritation to the joint can cause an increase in pain or swelling.
If you believe that you do have a bunion and the pain is beginning to impact your activities and life, it is probably time that you consult with your health care provider. Your provider may want to evaluate you and possible take some x-rays to determine if you have a bunion and its stage of development.
For those with severe bunion formation, surgery may be recommended. This surgery removes the bunion and realligns the toe. This would be something that you would want to speak with your doctor about.