Does your big toe hurt?

Are you suffering from foot pain when you walk? It could a bunion on your large toe. Bunions are bony humps that form at the base of the big toe. They occur when a person’s big toe begins to angle towards the toe beside it. Over time if the big toe remains in this unnatural position, the joint may become swollen and inflamed. In the vast majority of cases bunions are caused by poorly fitting shoes. People who wear shoes that are narrow at the toe box are prone to developing bunions. Partly because of fashion, but also because their ligaments tend to be looser than a man’s; women are more likely to develop bunions than men are. High heel shoes pose a significant risk to the health of the toe joints. High heel shoes tend to be designed to taper towards the toe. Most shoes are designed to evenly distribute a person’s weight across the entire length of the foot. This is not so with high heels. High heels angle the full force of the wearer’s weight downward toward the toes, forcing the toes deeper into an already overly constricted space. Less frequently, bunions may be caused by genetic predisposition. It is important for people in families that have a history of bunion development to remember that it is the shape of the foot, not the bunion itself that is inherited. In nearly all cases bunions can be prevented with proper attention to footwear and regular visits to the podiatrist. Nonsurgical treatments of bunions involve simply resting the foot by avoiding excessive walking and wearing loose (wider) shoes or sandals can often relieve the irritating pain of bunions. Conservative therapies to reduce tension on the inner part of the joint of a bunion include stretching exercises and a bunion splint, an orthotic device that is usually worn at night providing further relief.

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