A bunion is a bony bump that can form at the base of the big toe joint. Many people believe that bunions are a strictly cosmetic issue, only affecting the way that the foot looks, but bunions can also be painful and lead to other foot problems that may interfere with your day-to-day life. A bunion can push your big toe towards the smaller ones, changing the shape of the foot and making the big toe joint sore, stiff, swollen, or inflamed. Blisters, corns, and calluses may form in between or on top of the toes as your shoe rubs against the bunion. All of these symptoms can lead to difficulty walking and going about your daily activities. Furthermore, bunions can increase your risk of other potentially painful foot problems, including hammertoes, bursitis, and metatarsalgia. Bunions tend to worsen over time, so if you notice a bunion forming on your foot, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment as soon as possible.
What Is a Bunion?
Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.
- Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
- Inflammatory Conditions - rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development
- Redness and inflammation
- Pain and tenderness
- Callus or corns on the bump
- Restricted motion in the big toe
In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.