From walking and running to standing and dancing, your feet are imperative parts of your physical and emotional health. Unfortunately, certain conditions may affect the look and feel of your feet, causing you pain while limiting your mobility. An estimated 23 percent of people aged 18 to 65 and 36 percent of people over the age of 65 suffer with bunions. Since this condition is so common, understanding the formation and treatment for a bunion is smart. With this guide, you will learn some interesting facts about bunions.
Bunions Form in Various Ways
Smaller shoes may cause pressure between your toes, forcing the joint of the big toe to push out. This larger bump on the joint of your big toe is known as a bunion. Of course, bunions may develop even when wearing shoes that fit comfortably.
If you have recently injured your foot, you may develop a bunion. Certain medical conditions, such as arthritis, also increase your risk of developing a bunion. Genetics plays a large role in the formation of bunions, as well.
Symptoms of Bunions Vary
A bump protruding from the joint of your big toe is the most common symptom of a bunion. However, that is not the only sign. Here are a few more symptoms of a bunion:
- Swollen and inflamed skin on joint of your big toe
- Thickened skin on the base and sides of your big toe
- Numerous corns and calluses on your foot
- Light discomfort or intense pain when trying to move your big toe
- Inability to move your big toe
Bunions Will Get Worse Over Time
After experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, you may think your bunion is not affecting your life. Unfortunately, without treatment, the bony bump will worsen, causing pain and reducing your ability to move your toes. Over time, the bunion may affect your ability to walk and even stand in place.
Without treating the bunion, they will become larger. You will feel pain when trying to move the toe while walking or standing. In addition, wearing shoes over the larger bunion will be painful due to the increased swelling, redness, and irritation.
Bunions may also increase your risk of developing the following foot conditions:
- Hammertoe – The abnormality bends the middle joint of your toe, resulting in pressure, inflammation, and pain.
- Bursitis – Bunions can irritate the joints and skin of your toes so terribly, fluid will build up between bones, tendons, and muscles. Known as bursitis, this buildup of fluid causes serious swelling of your toes and a great deal of pain.
As soon as you notice the bunion forming, consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Surgery Is Not Your Only Answer
Many people choose to have bunions removed surgically, but the invasive option is only necessary if your bunion is painful. To prevent the bunion from growing and becoming worse, consider non-surgical options.
Wearing a pad on your bunion can reduce irritation between the bump and your shoe. Felt, moleskin, and gel pads are placed directly over the bunion, creating a protective layer over the bunion.
A toe spacer is also beneficial. The spacer is worn between your big and second toe, reducing irritation to your bunion. Toe spacers are effective for easing inflammation and pain while preventing the bunion from growing larger.
Your doctor may also suggest wearing a bunion splint at night while you are sleeping. A rigid splint will force the big toe back into alignment. Unfortunately, you will need to wear the splint each night for many weeks, since it is not a quick or permanent treatment option.
Bunions may be common, but they should not have to wreak havoc on your life. This guide and your doctor will help you understand bunions without going bonkers. Make an appointment with a clinic like Camden County Foot & Ankle Associates for more information.