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Bunions: Causes and Treatments

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A bunion is an abnormality of the feet that can cause discomfort, especially while wearing certain types of shoes. This bony bump develops near the joint that is located at the base of the big toe. A hallux abducto valgus affects the metatarsal bone causing a shift in the position of the bone, leading to a malformation of the joint.

In addition to a malformed joint, the muscles, ligaments and tendons shift positions, leading to additional discomfort for an individual. Because the joint becomes inflamed, the bursal sac or osseous anomaly swells, creating a large bump on the inner surface of the affected foot. In many cases, the large toe points toward the other toes on the foot, making it difficult to stand or walk without discomfort.

What Causes a Bunion?

Foot specialists know that bunions are caused by arthritic conditions, wear and tear to the feet or tight shoes. Women are more prone to having bunions because they may wear shoes that have a pointy toe or a high heel that requires applying pressure on the toes while walking. If an individual has a parent with a bunion, then they are more likely to develop the condition on one or both feet.

The Symptoms of Bunions

When someone has a large bunion, it is easy to notice with a physical examination. However, a smaller bunion is not as noticeable, and a physician may obtain an X-ray of one or both feet to see the signs of bunions in the joints next to the big toes. There are several symptoms associated with bunions, including:

• Blisters near the bunion
• Joint pain
• Pain while walking
• Joint redness
• Edema in the feet
• Irritated skin on the feet
• Pain throughout the entire feet that can radiate to the ankles

In order to cope with the discomfort of a bunion, an individual may need to buy a larger size of shoes or buy specialty footwear.

What Are the Treatments for Bunions?

There are several ways for someone to care for their feet to avoid the discomfort from bunions. It is imperative to buy supportive and comfortable footwear along with inserting orthotics into shoes. When an individual is experiencing pain in their feet, they can apply ice or take medications such as aspirin. There are also surgical procedures available to remove the growth or realign the bones and supportive tissues near the bunion.

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