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Foot Facts -- Bunions


Do you believe that only seniors have bunions?


Think again. Although Bunions may seem to be an old age ailment they usually begin much earlier in life. Bunions can be caused by flat feet or foot abnormalities. But most often bunions are the result of wearing ill-fitting footwear.

Women are most likely to suffer from Bunions. The culprit is high-heeled pointy-toed shoes. While these shoes may look attractive, they create an ailment that may ultimately be resolved only by surgery.



What is a Bunion?

In constrictive shoes, the big toe is forced to bend toward the second toe and the first joint of the big toe is moved out of place. To compensate for the realignment, the outside of the joint is increased in size. Tendons then begin to pull the toe into an abnormal position. Over time the change in position becomes painful and permanent.

The change in position also causes the mechanics of the toes and foot to be affected. The joint at the base of the big toe carries a lot of weight when walking or running. In a normally shaped foot the position of the big toe helps create a wide base of support and stability. A foot that has had the big toe bent toward the second toe will tend to roll inward. This abnormal pronation, along with the ill-fitting shoes will make the Bunion even worse.

If a person has a foot anatomy that is prone to Bunions, wearing footwear with a too-narrow toe box will accelerate the development of a Bunion. Wearing footwear with a wide toe box may help prevent or at least delay the development of Bunions.

What are the symptoms of a Bunion?

  • A bony bump along the edge of the foot, at the base of the big toe (adjacent to the ball of the foot)
  • Redness and some swelling at or near the big toe joint
  • Deep dull pain in the big toe joint
  • Dull achy pain in the big toe joint after walking or a sharp pain while walking
  • The big toe is overlapping the second toe, resulting in redness, calluses, or other irritations such as corns

Can Bunions be treated?

Getting rid of a Bunion is almost impossible without surgery. Foot and toe exercises can help. Foam pads can reduce the pressure on the joint. Ice packs and anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce swelling.

The progress of a Bunion can be slowed or even halted, especially if it is caused by ill-fitting footwear. Of course the best course of action is to not wear pointy-toed high-heel shoes to begin with. But if you have worn improper footwear and now want to stop the progress of Bunions, Happy Feet Plus can help.

Supportive footwear with an adequate toe box, like those from Birkenstock, Finn Comfort, Birki’s, Alpro, Footprints, Tatami, and Papillio do not squeeze the toes together. Instead they provide lots of room for the toes to find their natural position. The footwear also provides excellent metatarsal and medial arch support which helps keep the musculoskeletal structure of the foot in the proper supportive position.

 

 

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