Bunions: Misdirected Joints

Published On: January 3, 2023

Have you noticed that your toe joint is heading off on its own adventure with your toe going the opposite way? The bony bump and toe displacement may mean you have hallux valgus or, in more familiar terms, bunions. This bump is not new bone growth or overgrowth but is your first metatarsal bone–one of five long bones between your midfoot and your toes–shifting outwards. Often, pain and difficulty finding comfortable shoes are associated with bunions. Your chiropodist can help!

Bunions appear in a few symptoms, including:

  • Hard lumps on the sides of your feet at the base of your big toe(s)
  • Pain and irritation around the bump, especially while wearing shoes
  • Difficulty finding comfortable shoes
  • Big toe turns in towards your second toe
  • Deformity of the other toes
  • Pain in the bottom of the foot

Bunions are progressive deformities, which means they worsen over time. You won’t wake up one morning and suddenly have a bunion. Bunions have many known and unknown causes; a few include footwear choices, disease, genetics, and overpronation (an over-flattening of the foot).

The chiropodists at Werkman, Boven Foot Clinic, offer some options or recommendations for the treatment of your pain:  

  • Shoe suggestions, including comfy, wide, but proper-fitting shoes.
  • Shoe modifications and gel bunion shield pads to prevent irritation.
  • Gel toe spacers reduce the speed of the bunion’s progression. Infracare Bunion Aligners are a 2-piece kit we carry that combines the separator’s cushioning and the comfort of a sock to alleviate the pressure.
  • Custom-made prescription orthotics to reduce abnormal bone pressures and underlying biomechanical issues.
  • Surgical intervention is the only way to get rid of a bunion. Unfortunately, due to the nature of bunions, there is a good possibility that the bunion will return after surgery.

While the exact cause of bunions is unknown, it helps prevent worsening the symptoms by ensuring your shoes are the correct size and have enough room for your toes. Avoid shoes with high heels or tight, pointy toes, which exert extra pressure on your toes. Book regular appointments with your chiropodist to assess and track changes in your feet.

Schedule your appointment today!

    Contains information from:

    NHS. (n.d.). NHS choices. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bunions/ 

    University of Michigan. (n.d.). Bunions (hallux valgus). Bunions (Hallux Valgus) | Michigan Medicine. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from https://www.uofmhealth.org/conditions-treatments/cmc/foot-and-ankle/bunions

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