The joint of your big toe is enlarged at the base, tender and red. It hurts when you walk. In fact, it’s starting to hurt when you make any kind of movement with your foot. What could possibly be wrong?
It’s called a bunion. And yes, bunions can certainly be a pain! Let’s take a closer look at what a bunion is, what causes one and how you can alleviate the pain caused by it.
A bunion is a bump that forms at the base of the big toe, in the area where the toe attaches to the foot. Bunions usually occur when the big toe pushes on the toe next to it. Because of this, the big toe also pushes on the bone right behind it known as the first metatarsal bone. This causes the joint of the big toe to swell, and the skin around it tobecome inflamed.
Anyone can develop a bunion. But believe it or not, one of the most common reasons bunions form is from wearing shoes that are too tight. Try to keep that in mind the next time you think about putting fashion before comfort!
Women make up a high percentage of bunion sufferers, as years of wearing tight, pointed heels often result in the formation of the painful bump. In fact, women are ten times more likely to develop bunions than men.
Regardless, everyone should make sure to always wear shoes that allow the toes plenty of room to move around. If you must wear a heel, make sure it is less than one inch high and does not push your foot forward.
Arthritis is another leading cause of bunion formation. Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can experience changes in the shape of the foot over time that are associated with the degeneration of cartilage.
Changes to the front part of an RA patient’s foot include the formation of bunions. Arthritis patients typically experience severe pain from bunions, as their big toes usually cross completely over their second toes.
Keep in mind that not all bunions cause pain. When they do cause pain, however, you will want to do whatever you can to treat them.
There are a few things you can try at home to treat painful bunions, including:
For best results in treating your bunion, it’s always best to seek the advice of a podiatrist. Early detection is key to try and avoid surgery. He or she can help you get on the road to a speedy recovery.
If you have a bunion and would like to have it evaluated, give us a call today at 301-937-5666 or simply fill out the brief form on the top right of this page.