A bunion is a bump on the joint at the base of the big toe (conversely, a bunionette occurs at the base of the little toe). This condition is manifested by the joint and/or tissue at the joint moving out of place, so that the big toe angles toward the 2nd toe. With the amount of stress that this joint typically needs to take, having the joint out of place can cause severe pain. Bunions can sometimes be avoided or at least the symptoms can be alleviated with changes in footwear.
Comfortable, well-fitting footwear can ease the foot pain associated with bunions as well as reduce the possibility of ever getting them.
Signs and Symptoms of Bunions:
- A bony bump on the joint at the base of the big toe.
- A reddened, painful, swollen big toe joint.
- The big toe and second toe may overlap each other.
Some Causes and/or Risk Factors for Bunions:
- Foot injuries.
- Flat feet.
- Arthritis or neuromuscular issues.
- Occupations and/or other everyday activities that regularly place pressure and/or stress onto the feet.
- Ill-fitting footwear.
- Wearing pointed-toe shoes that cram the toes together into an overly small space.
Prevention and Relief through Properly Fitting Shoes:
When someone suffers from painful bunions, wearing correctly fitting footwear and using podiatric health products can make a significant difference in his or her overall comfort. If the toes are cramped inside of a pair of tight shoes, pressure is exerted onto the toe joints. This can either aggravate existing bunions or cause them to form.
- Avoid wearing shoes with pointed toes. Rather, choose footwear with rounded or squared-off toes and a wide toe box that allows plenty of room for the toes.
- Ensure that there is adequate length as well as width in the toe box. When putting on any pair of shoes, press the thumb down above the longest toe. There should be a minimum space of half an inch between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. Do not wear or buy footwear with anything less than this amount of toe space, particularly if bunions are already present.
- Try a pair of shoes in a size larger than your normal size to avoid irritation of the bunion area.
- Purchase flat shoes for everyday wear, as opposed to high heeled shoes.
- Look for shoes made specifically for bunion relief, like those from Fidelio.