Unsightly, annoying and sometimes painful, bunion is a bony bump that develops at the base of the big toe. Medically referred to as “hallux valgus,” they occur as the result of misaligned joints and, as a result, the big toe starts to grow into the rest of the toes. The more this body part continues to drift sideways, the further the bony bump sticks out. This soon leads to the joint becoming inflamed, tender and painful.
A common foot condition that occurs especially among women, it can often be attributed to poor choice in footwear. Much of the high heels we see stomping down the runways are detrimental to the wearers for numerous reasons. Dramatic heights put abnormal amounts of weight on the front of the foot; arch support is often minimal; and the “fashionable” look of tight, narrow boxtoes frequently leads to bunions. Therefore, it is universally recommended that women purchase shoes with wide, rounded fronts and steer clear of the pointy heels.
Footwear fashion is not the only source of this condition; though rare, bunions can be triggered through hereditary or, equally seldom, a byproduct of excessive pronation, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Other sources include feeble ligaments, over pronation and having legs of unequal lengths.
Left untreated, bunions lead to future problems including bursitis, hammertoe and eventually chronic arthritis.
Though not found in every case, the following symptoms usually occur when bunions are present:
- A bulging bump on the base of the big toe.
- Swelling and tenderness around this particular joint.
- Surrounding skin and tissue should feel abnormally hard and is often discolored.
- Corns or calluses near big toe.
- Increased pain or discomfort when moving the largest of your toes.
- Blisters occasionally form, especially when aggravated by the continuous friction of tight shoes.
- If left untreated and continually kindled for years, a bunion can lead to the unnatural development of surplus bone.
Bunion Relief Products
Fortunately, most bunions are treatable without surgery. Orthotic Shop carries several products that will help relieve the pain and prevent the bunion from becoming a more prominent issue.
- Bunion Splint Brace – Convenient to wear twenty-four hours of the day – even comfortable under socks. Helps reduce friction and irritation between the bunion and shoes and helps with straightening the unhealthily bulging joint.
- Bunion Night Splint – Worn at night, this health accessory helps to properly realign big toe in order to stop the unhealthy progression and encourage healing.
- Bunion Care Gel Sleeve – This day-time sleeve uses a polymer gel formula pad to safeguard and reduce pressure on the big toe joint.
Other Bunion Relief:
- Ice and elevating the affected foot often help reduce the swelling.
- Do NOT try to fit into tight shoes; there are footwear brands that are crafted to provide liberal room in the front, like Vionic/Orthaheel and Drew Shoes.
- Do NOT wear heels that are higher than 2 ¼ inches to avoid further aggravating the bunion.
- DAILY: use moisturizer on the rougher skin that develops near the bunion. Soften the area using a pumice stone to rub away the buildup of tough tissue.
- Though surgery is rare, a podiatrist may recommend anti-inflammatory medication or cortisone shots to minimize acute pain.