Bunions are a common cause of foot pain. Bunions develop a the base of the big toe, and can cause pain and swelling.
The Latin name of bunions is “hallux valgus”. Hallux means big toe, and valgus means turning away.
When a bunion starts, the pressure can cause the toe joint to swell and become inflamed, causing pain and stiffness.
Bunions run in families because foot shape is hereditary. Wearing shoes that are too narrow or high heels can worsen bunions. People who on their feet a lot are also at increased risk of bunions. Bunions also often become worse with pregnancy.
Bunions are ten times more common in women then men!
What should you do if you have a bunion?
-Be sure to wear well-fitting shoes with flexible soles
-Avoid heels that are taller than one inch
-Pads or inserts in the shoes can help bunion pain
-Splints worn at night can help with discomfort
-Warm soaks, ice packs, and over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can be helpful for some patients
-Steroid injections can be helpful in some cases
If none of these standard measures help, then a bunion surgery may be necessary. The surgery is performed by podiatrists (DPM) or orthopedic surgeons, and re-aligns the joint.