A bunion is a hard bump that forms at the base of the big toe because of a deformity in the joint at the base causing the big toe to move towards the other toes. The bump may eventually be pressed by shoes irritating it and making it become sore and turn red. A small bunion is called a bunionette. It helps to wear comfortable well-fitting shoes when you have a bunion.
Most times bunions can be managed with conservative methods but you may need to consult Dr. Jordan D Cameron when you experience excess pain in the big toe or foot, when you are unable to move the big toe, or when the bunion cannot fit in any shoe.
What Are the Symptoms of a Bunion?
The most obvious symptom of a bunion is a swelling at the base of the big toe that feels hard when you touch it. Bunions may also be present with redness where the bunion looks inflamed. The base of the big toe that has the bunion may feel sore. The bunion may present itself with pain. The pain might be dull and may have episodes of worsening, especially when you move the big toe.
The pain may make it hard to move your big toe. A bunion causes the big toe to press on the other toes and this friction may cause the first two toes to develop corns. The bunions may also affect how your foot functions, making it hard to walk and affecting the shape of your feet and making shoes not fit well.
Are Bunions Serious?
The foot is very necessary for bearing body weight. A bunion can limit your movement because of pain. This can make you inactive and limit you from performing daily activities. Most bunions may not be serious but sometimes they may complicate requiring medical attention.
Bunions may cause inflammation of the fluid-filled bursae that protect the bones from friction in a condition that is called bursitis. The middle joint of the first two may bend causing pain, a condition called hammertoe. The bunions may also cause metatarsalgia which causes swelling and pain in the ball of the foot.
You can relieve the discomfort that is caused by bunions by wearing comfortable and well-fitting shoes that provide good support to your foot and don’t press on the bunion. Sandals are a good choice when having a bunion and wearing heels will make bunions worse. You can also apply cold or warm compresses on the bunion to reduce pain. Mild painkillers will also relieve the pain.
Massaging the foot will also relieve discomfort. Shoe inserts or splints can also help to hold your foot in position, thus avoiding irritation of the bunion. Buy shoes that match the shape of your foot and consider buying shoes with a wider front so that you do not press on the bunion.
Who Has a High Risk of Getting a Bunion?
Women who wear high heels are at a higher risk of getting bunions because heels push your toes forward into the narrow part of the shoe compressing them. People who wear tight shoes may also develop bunions. Foot deformities like flat foot can also predispose you to get a bunion. Some diseases like arthritis increase the risk of bunions.
Some people are also genetically predisposed to get bunions. Some professions that stand for long hours or that stress the feet like ballet dancing increase the risk of bunions. Hormonal changes in pregnancy may cause the ligaments at the foot to become loose and increase the risk of bunions.
Bunions are hard swelling that occurs at the base of the big toe due to a joint deformity. They present themselves with pain, redness, and soreness, and can limit foot movement. Wearing high heels, tight shoes, and standing for long periods are some of the factors that can cause bunions.