A bunion is a bony bump that often forms around the joint at the base of the big toe. It occurs when some of the bones in the front of your foot move out of position. As a result, the tip of the big toe pulls towards the smaller toes, causing the joint at the base to stick out. The skin around the bunion may appear reddish and swollen. The bunions in Naperville mainly result from wearing tight shoes, which also aggravates the problem. In some cases, you may develop bunions due to the shape around your foot, a medical condition like arthritis, or a foot deformity. Smaller bunions can affect the joints in your little toe.
When Should You See a Doctor?
While bunions do not often need medical attention, you should see a medical practitioner specializing in foot disorders if you experience persistent pain in your big toe or foot. Other reasons to see a doctor include:
- Reduced mobility of the big toe or foot.
- Difficulty fitting your foot into shoes due to the bunion.
- A visible bump around your big toe joint.
What Causes Bunions?
While the primary cause of bunions remains unknown, several theories explain how bunions can come about. You can develop bunions due to inherited foot type, foot injuries or stress, and deformities present at birth. Experts still disagree on the role of tight, extremely narrow, and high-heeled shoes or whether footwear can potentially cause bunions. Bunions also have a connection to some forms of arthritis, especially the inflammatory types like rheumatoid arthritis.
You may be at an increased risk of bunions if you often wear high heels, which forces your toes into the front of the shoes, causing the crowd’s toes. Ill-fitting shoes such as an extremely tight pair of shoes or shoes with an extremely narrow or pointed front can also contribute to the development of bunions. Additionally, inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and inherited problems affecting your foot structure make you more likely to develop bunions.
Possible complications linked to bunions include bursitis, a painful condition that occurs when the small pads cushion the bones near the joints and become inflamed. You can also develop hammertoe where the middle joint of the toe, mainly the toe closest to your big toe, develops an abnormal bend that causes pressure and pain. Metatarsalgia is another potential complication of bunions that causes swelling and pain in the ball of the foot.
You can prevent bunions by choosing your shoes with care. You should always go for shoes with a wide-toe box and avoid those that have a pointy front. Ideally, your shoes should leave some space between the tip of the longest toe and the end of the shoe to prevent the toes from bending. The shoes you wear should fit the shape of your foot without pressing or squeezing against any part of the foot.
To summarize, bunions are bony bumps that form around the joint at the base of your big toe. You seek medical attention if it causes persistent pain in the affected toe or foot. The leading cause of bunions remains unknown, but experts link it to inherited foot type, foot injuries, and deformities present at birth. You can develop different complications when you suffer from bunions. You can prevent the condition by choosing the right pair of shoes.