A bunion is a hard lump that develops inside the edge of the big toe and causes the joint to become enlarged which adds pressure on all the toes. This will cause the big toe to thrust forward and cause pain, redness and thickening of the skin and there is also the development of calluses and limited movement.
Bunions can be caused by wearing of high-heeled or tight fitting shoes, injuries caused on the foot, hereditary and congenital deformities. Sometimes, bunions can develop outside the fifth or pinky toe which is also called bunionettes. Bunions can be caused by inflammation or it can be caused by a degenerative disease such as osteoarthritis. Women are more susceptible to end up with bunions than in men.
- Bunions become worse over a period of time and can cause pain and makes walking difficult.
- Corns and calluses can develop around the bunions
- Swelling around the affected area and eventually becomes reddened and the joints are inflamed.
- Wearing of tight, narrow and high-heeled shoes
- Wearing ill-fitting shoes
- A family history of bunions can increase the risk of developing bunions and ballet dancers sometimes end up with bunions.
- Suffering from degenerative diseases such as arthritis as well as neurological diseases such as cerebral palsy can have a high risk of developing bunions.
- Sometimes, inconsistency of the length of legs can sometimes cause bunions that usually develop on the longer leg and the big toe can also be affected.
- Wear orthotics or shoe inserts that are padded for the shoe in order to help minimize bunions and prevent them from getting worse. It also helps in the proper alignment of the feet and helps prevent the feet from making any abnormal movements.
- Wear spacers or foam pads that help in holding apart the first and second toes during sleeping. Another way is cutting a hole in the top of an old shoe for a similar effect since this helps in minimizing the discomfort and pressure placed on the bunions.
- Apply an ice pack or cold compress on the bunion at least three times every day to lessen the swelling.
- Take the prescribed pain medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen since these help lessen inflammation and pain caused by bunions.
- Bunions that are not properly treated can cause severe pain or can cause deformity on the toe. Seek medical help if bunions become worse even after home remedies or there are shows signs of infection such as redness and swelling of the affected area.
In order to help prevent the development of bunions, it is important to wear comfortable shoes that fit properly and does not cramp the toes. Make sure that there is space between the top of the shoe and the longest toe and the shoes should comfortably conform to the shape of the foot.