Whether you prefer wearing sandals or boots, you cannot deny the fact that a large lump bulging out at the base of your big toe makes movement impossible and can hurt a lot. While doctors call it hallux abducto valgus deformity, you know it better as a bunion. A bunion is nothing but a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It develops when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and move out of its place. This joint at the base of the big toe bears most of your weight while walking.
Smaller bunions, also known as tailor’s bunion or bunionette, may develop on the joint of your little toe, but it’s more of a rare occurrence 拇趾外翻. The skin covering the bunion might be red and sore. Bunions may also form because of certain medical conditions such as arthritis or gout. This deformity is progressive and will increase with time although the symptoms may or may not. Often, small fluid-filled cysts (bursa) near to the joint can also become inflamed (bursitis), leading to additional swelling, redness, and pain.
While the exact causes are still unknown, there seem to be genetic factors involved, that lead to abnormal foot function such as overpronation. This is especially common when bunions occur in younger individuals. Abnormal biomechanics can lead to instability of the metatarsal-phalangeal joint and muscle imbalance resulting in the deformity. Less common causes of bunions include trauma (sprains, fractures, nerve injuries), neuromuscular ailments (polio or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease), and limb-length discrepancies (one leg shorter than the other) where the longer leg develops the bunion.
Before you opt for surgical treatments to get rid of bunions, consider wearing insoles or shoe inserts. These ‘bunion pads’ can help correct the position of your feet and take the weight off your toes. Medically termed as orthoses, these work by redistributing pressure away from the affected joint. Some people need more heel and arch support to improve their feet’s range of motion and correctly balance their body weight over the entire foot. A combination of buying the right kind of shoes for your feet and adding extra support or cushioning might be effective to solve the problem.