Saturday, August 28, 2021

Everything You Need To Know About Bunions

Bunions are bony protrusions that form on the metatarsophalangeal joint, the area where your big toe attaches to the foot. It is a common deformity that occurs due to misalignment from the pressure we apply on our feet every day.

Despite how many people suffer from bunions, there isn’t much awareness of causes and treatment.

Let’s take a closer look.

What Are the Types of Bunions?

Now that you know what bunions are and how they’re formed, would it surprise you to learn that they can occur in infants, young kids, and adults? That’s right. Here’s a list of the different types of bunions:

  • Congenital hallux valgus: A rare condition that affects babies.
  • Adolescent (or juvenile) hallux valgus: Most commonly seen in kids aged between 10 and 15.
  • Tailor’s bunion: This type of bunion forms on the exterior of the pinky toe and is referred to as a bunionette.

Bunions don’t happen overnight—they take years to form. They appear when the big toe is repeatedly positioned at an awkward angle instead of remaining straight. If left untreated, bunions can force the toes to crowd together, leading to a permanent deformity.

These are the most common causes of bunions:

  • Wearing high heels or pointy-toe shoes, which can restrict the toes from remaining naturally straight
  • Wearing footwear that is too tight or a size smaller can squeeze the toes, putting pressure on the big toe
  • Standing for long periods (particularly for those who have to work on their feet)
  • Arthritis in the feet such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Injuries or trauma to the foot
  • Flat feet (arches that don’t form or collapse)

What are the Symptoms of Bunions?

These signs can help you identify between bunions and regular bumps:

  • Difficulty bending the big toe, followed by a burning or painful sensation
  • Calluses or corns on the second toe
  • The big toe bends unnaturally towards the second toe
  • The big toe appears numb
  • Difficulty wearing regular shoes
  • The underside of the big toe carries thick skin
  • Inflamed, red skin on the side of the big toe
  • Pain that comes and goes (feels more prominent while walking or standing)
  • Hammertoes (the joint gets stuck in an upright position and looks like a hammer)

What Does Bunion Pain Feel Like?

You will feel a sharp pain if swelling occurs on the toe. This pain can also travel to the ball of your foot. So is there a cure for a bunion? Many people will claim to have cured their bunions, but the truth is far from it. While there are ways to help lessen the intensity of the pain and reduce swelling, these temporary fixes won’t cure bunions. The only way to do so is with surgery. Specialized medical centers such as Northwest Surgery Center can treat this foot deformity in the quickest and least uncomfortable way.

How to Manage and Treat Bunions

Doctors will always recommend an X-ray of the foot to determine bone alignment and joint damage, if any, before suggesting bunion surgery. Unfortunately, there are no traditional remedies or bunion exercises that can offer long-term relief. If you’re wondering how to shrink bunions naturally, there are ways to try this at home:


Holding an ice pack on the bunion can help reduce inflammation and pain. Keep the pack in place for at least 5 minutes to experience some relief.

Comfy shoes

Wear shoes that are wide on the top so that your toes have enough wiggle room. You can use a stretching device to widen the shoes you have. If you still feel uncomfortable, orthopedic or wide toe box shoes are a better option.

Pain Relievers

Medication such as ibuprofen and paracetamol, or even topical ointments can help with inflammation and pain.

Bunion pads

Invest in quality bunion pads as they help protect your toes from friction.

Addressing a bunion sooner rather than later can help you immensely in the long haul. It’s wise to approach a trusted doctor at first sight of a bunion to avoid a lifetime of pain and difficulties.

This is a guest blog entry.

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