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Conditions - Bunions

What are they?

A bunion is a very common forefoot problem. It is a prominent bump on the inside of the big toe joint. The big toe may actually point towards the other toes and push the second or even the third toe over as well. The bump is a bony prominence that occurs because of pressure on that spot.

People with bunions often have inflammation, swelling, redness and soreness on the side of the big toe joint (where the toe meets the rest of the foot). Shoes often aggravate the problem.

Sometimes people develop a type of bunion on the little toe. This is called a Tailor’s Bunion or Bunionette.

What causes them?

Bunions are more common in women than men, although both can have them. A bunion can develop from abnormal biomechanics of the foot (especially abnormal pronation), arthritis, or by wearing poorly-fitted footwear. Shoes that are not shaped like one’s foot can slowly, over time, mold a foot into an abnormal shape leading to a bunion. Women often wear shoes that are not shaped like their feet, that squeeze their toes together making them more susceptible to bunions forming.

How can a pedorthist help to treat?

The best way to alleviate bunion pain is to wear shoes that fit properly. The shoes should be of similar shape to your feet, be deep enough to accommodate your toes and wide enough to accommodate the width of your foot. Shoes with a rocker sole can help to alleviate the pain of a bunion.

An orthotic should be used to control any abnormal biomechanics that are contributing to the bunion forming. Keep in mind, however, that putting an orthotic into a poor shoe will not be of much benefit.

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