Bunion Care

What’s a Bunion?

Bunion refers to a bulge on the side of the feet just below the big toe that causes stiffness and a foot deformity over time. Bunions affect a large proportion of the population. The swelling starts when the big toe bends inwards in the direction of the other toes causing stiffness.

What are the Symptoms of a Bunion?

Many people have foot conditions that may appear similar across the board. However, bunions have some distinctive characteristics, such as:

  • Crooked feet, caused by the big toe moving out of its natural position
  • Redness of inflamed skin around the bunion or swelling after prolonged walking or standing
  • Difficulty fitting into shoes

In some cases, bunions may affect the small toe. This is called a bunionette and may not be as adverse as a bunion.

Causes of Bunions

While factors like overly tight shoes can cause bunions, most cases are because of genetic reasons. Weak foot structures can be passed on from one family member to another.

Bunions can also be caused by:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions such as cerebral palsy which cause deformities in the development of the toe
  • Diabetes, which damages the nerves of the foot
  • Foot injuries from exercise, sports, or severe damage

Other risk factors like wearing heels that constrict the toes also increase the chances of bunions for already genetically predisposed people.

Treating Bunions

There are several recommended ways of treating bunions:

  • Wear fitting shoes that allow your toes to move freely
  • Use cushioned pads to support toes with bunions
  • Use orthotic innersoles
  • Taking ibuprofen and other prescribed anti-inflammatory medication to ease the swelling
  • Treating the bunion with an ice pack
  • Checking your weight to prevent pressure on the feet

With proper management, bunions can be treated to a significant extent. You may opt for surgery to address the condition in more severe cases.