Bunions, what are they and what causes them?

Bunion pain on footBunions are a common affliction of the metatarsophalangeal joint that causes the inner portion of that joint to enlarge at the base of your big toe. They appear as a bump on the side of the big toe and are often the result of the shifting of the framework of the bones in the front part of your foot. Your big toe will begin to lean toward the second toe, messing up the alignment. Bunions form slowly and can usually be attributed to the wrong kind of shoes as well as genetics. Bunions typically begin developing for people who are as young as 20 to 30, and women are three times more  likely to experience bunions than men are.

  • Symptoms of a Foot Bunion:
  • Bump or bulge on the outside of your big toe
  • Corns or calluses
  • Periodic or persistent foot pain
  • Redness
  • Restricted movement of your big toe
  • Soreness
  • Swelling

What are the Causes of Bunion Development?

  • Congenital deformities
  • Foot injuries
  • Foot stress
  • Genetics
  • Improperly sized or shaped footwear
  • Medical conditions like diabetes or arthritis

Bunions are are often caused by genetics such as gait pattern and hereditary foot types. They are not necessarily caused by the crowding of toes, but wearing tight-fitting shoes and especially high heels can definitely contribute to the problem. It is recommended to, wear the right size shoes, and many are being developed with a larger toe box.  Additionally,  spending time every day with foot alignment socks can work to straighten the toes back out, helping to eliminate the pain often caused by bunions. These toe alignment socks apply pressure to the right spots, and depending on the condition of your bunion, may give you relief in a very short time.  For others, it may take longer, but should show some improvement within the first couple of weeks.

Doctor examining a bunionA doctor can diagnose your bunions with a simple look at your feet, and they may also want to see you move your toe so that they can see it in action, along with looking for any redness or inflammation. They may want to perform an x-ray and ask about the symptoms to help diagnose this pain. In the meantime, toe exercises and foot alignment socks are an important step to take and may prevent painful and costly surgery!



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