Unsightly, annoying and sometimes painful, bunion is a bony bump that develops at the base of the big toe. Medically referred to as “hallux valgus,” they occur as the result of misaligned joints and, as a result, the big toe starts to grow into the rest of the toes. The more this body part continues to drift sideways, the further the bony bump sticks out. This soon leads to the joint becoming inflamed, tender and painful.
A common foot condition that occurs especially among women, it can often be attributed to poor choice in footwear. Much of the high heels we see stomping down the runways are detrimental to the wearers for numerous reasons. Dramatic heights put abnormal amounts of weight on the front of the foot; arch support is often minimal; and the “fashionable” look of tight, narrow boxtoes frequently leads to bunions. Therefore, it is universally recommended that women purchase shoes with wide, rounded fronts and steer clear of the pointy heels.
Footwear fashion is not the only source of this condition; though rare, bunions can be triggered through hereditary or, equally seldom, a byproduct of excessive pronation, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Other sources include feeble ligaments, over pronation and having legs of unequal lengths.
Left untreated, bunions lead to future problems including bursitis, hammertoe and eventually chronic arthritis.