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Bunions: Causes, Prevention and Treatment

A bunion is a foot deformity that causes the joint at the base of the big toe to bulge outwards. The condition is characterized as a lateral deviation of the metatarsophalangeal joint and the inward deviation of the big toe. There is no abnormal tissue or tumor growth in bunions, the protruding bump comprises mostly of the head of the first metatarsal bone.

Causes of Bunions

The exact cause of bunions is still unknown. Using improper footwear can be one of the cause: a study shows that people in countries that regularly wear shoes such as in western countries have higher incidence of bunions. On the other hand, people in Asian countries mostly use sandals and were found to be less prone to develop bunions. This could also be the main cause of hereditary bunions due to decades of wearing shoes. The supporting structures of the feet seem to weaken, leading to this foot condition.

Women are particularly prone to bunions due to chronic use of ill-fitting shoes like tight pointy high heeled shoes. People who have leg length discrepancies, previous foot injuries, and arthritis can form bunions.

Signs and Symptoms

An obvious sign of a bunion is bump at the joint at the base of the big toe. A bump can also form at the base of the joint of the small toe, and this type of bunion is called a tailors bunion.

In most cases, bunions don’t cause any problems but if they do, they can cause mild to severe foot pain.

Prevention

Pain is typically the reason why most patients seek medical attention for bunions. But once a patient already experiences pain, it is most likely irreversible and pain management can only be done. This is the reason why preventive measures are very important. Once you suspect that you have a bunion or if you have a family history of bunions, seek advice from a podiatrist. It 腳趾外翻 is important to know that a bunion is a progressive condition. This means that the bunion will slowly but surely get worse through time. Wearing improper footwear will hasten the progression of a bunion and wearing perfectly fitting shoes or shoes with wide toe boxes can slow down or even stop the progression of a bunion.

Treatment of Symptomatic Bunion

Painful bunions can be alleviated with NSAIDS like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc. Cold soaks can also help relieve acute bunion pains. Some patients also find warm soaks to be helpful.

Custom made orthotics can help position the bunion to prevent painful bouts. Bunion pads, splints, shoes with wide toe boxes can also be used prevent irritation.

 

 

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