What is a Bunion? 

A bunion is a deformity of the big toe caused by the displacement of the first metatarsal, which causes an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe. The enlargement of the joint is often accompanied by inflammation, pain, and difficulty in wearing certain shoes due to the toe pushing against the side of the shoe.

How do you know you have a Bunion?

A bunion can usually be identified by the physical signs of a bump on the side of the big toe joint and a red, calloused, and sometimes painful area. There may also be swelling of the big toe joint and difficulty walking.

What are the Symptoms of a Bunion?

  • Swelling, redness, or soreness around the joint of the large toe 
  • Tenderness or pain when walking or standing 
  • Corns or calluses that develop 
  • Restricted motion of the large toe 
  • Formation of a bony bump on the outside of the big toe joint 
  • The skin at the base of the big toe becomes thicker

What Causes a Bunion to Develop? 

Bunions are commonly caused by genetics, poor-fitting shoes, and the constant stress placed on your feet from activities like running or walking. The genetic component can include abnormal formations of bones in the feet that cause imbalance and create an environment conducive to a bunion forming. Poorly-fitting shoes may irritate the joint, leading to inflammation, while activities such as running or other repetitive movements repeatedly aggravate the joint and further contribute to bunion development.

Understanding the Two Most Common Types of Bunions 

HAV is characterized by a prominent bump on the outside of the foot where the big toe joints into the rest of your toes, which has been pushed outwards due to abnormal amounts of pressure over time. 

 This type often leads to difficulty walking and discomfort when wearing certain shoes. HLRs occur when there’s not enough movement between your metatarsal heads at your first MTP joint; this causes stiffness and pain since there’s no wiggle room for comfort! It may also cause you trouble wearing specific styles of shoes because extra space isn't available. 

 Other less-common types include: tailor's bunion (which forms along the pinky side of your foot), bone spurs (bumpy protrusions that form as an addition onto existing bones), sulci bursitis or sesamoiditis (inflammation surrounding small nodules near tendons located under your big toe joint), Freiberg infractions or Freiberg turf avulsion fractures (occurring in adolescents who have a lot of growing left) Morton's neuroma,(a thickening involving nerve fibers between 3rd & 4th toe area). 

Knowing what kind of bunion you have will help you create an effective treatment plan-- such as reducing painful symptoms by using customized padding inside shoes, orthotics for arch support correction, surgery for more serious cases etc.-- so that you live comfortably again without hassle!

Minimizing Bunion Pain

  1. Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes with plenty of room in the toe box. 
  2. Use bunion pads or protective tape to reduce friction and pain. 
  3. Apply ice or a cold compress to the bunion for 20 minutes at a time several times a day to reduce swelling. 
  4. Take medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce inflammation and ease pain. (Consult with your podiatrist before using medication)
  5. Strengthen the foot muscles with simple exercises like toe stretches, calf raises, and ankle rotations. 
  6. Visit a podiatrist or chiropodist for orthotic inserts or shoe inserts that can cushion and support the bunion area. 
  7. Consider bunion surgery if your symptoms are severe and no amount of self-care helps.

Discover How to Avoid Unwanted Bunions

  1. Wear comfortable and supportive shoes: When purchasing a new pair of shoes, look for the most cushioning inside so your feet can relax when you walk. Make sure the shoe is wide enough to comfortably accommodate your toes without squeezing them together awkwardly. Avoid wearing tight-fitting or narrow styles altogether since this can contribute to bunions forming on the side of the feet. If a pair does feel snug or tight, try on another size instead or opt for a different style entirely. 
  2. Use arch supports as needed: Arch supports help spread pressure around the foot and provide more balance for walking activities like dancing and running, which put extra stress on particular sections of your feet over time if done frequently enough. This helps keep bunions at bay by providing even support throughout all parts of each foot while playing sports or simply taking a casual stroll outdoors. 
  3. Protect Your Feet with Socks: Socks are also an important component when it comes to bunions. Make sure to choose socks that are made of breathable materials for maximum comfort. Look for socks that provide extra cushioning and support around the big toe area. Compression socks can also be helpful since they provide additional support and help to reduce inflammation. Make sure to wash your socks regularly to reduce the risk of bacteria and fungi growth which can lead to further bunion complications.

Planning Your Next Visit

Our team at Greenberg Podiatry in Ottawa is devoted to providing high-quality and compassionate care. We take pride in staying up-to-date on the most current treatments so our patients can continue living an active life while maintaining their physical well-being. Our goal is to treat your existing ailments and anticipate potential problems before they start. We go above and beyond typical healthcare solutions to ensure you receive the best possible service. 

Take advantage of our personalized advice by contacting Greenberg Podiatry today! A few simple steps could significantly impact your quality of life.