|FootRX - Foot Health:
A bunion is a condition in which the big toe angles toward the smaller toes, and a growth of bone protrudes alongside the base of the big toe. Usually the only problem that occurs from this is difficulty in fitting shoes comfortably due to the added width of the forefoot. However, the deformity can create degeneration of the joint surfaces and thus develop into severe arthritic type pain of the first MP joint.
Bunions may be hereditary in nature or may be related to poor overall foot mechanics particularly over-pronation. Over-pronation results in toeing off with too much weight on the inside of the foot forcing the big toe laterally. Over time this forms the bunion. Bunions may also be related to narrow shoes, injury, or arthritis.
The most important factor in treatment is proper shoe fitting. Make sure that your shoe is wide enough in the forefoot to accommodate for the added width of the bunion. Use of a supportive shoe or motion control shoe will help reduce the over-pronation that may be occurring during gait. Shoe pressure on the toe and bump may cause redness and pain. This may be alleviated by use of a doughnut pad over the bony growth to reduce friction. Custom molded foot orthotics can help reduce the over-pronation and improve the alignment of your foot (this helps to slow down the progression of the deformity). It may be helpful to use night splints, toe spacers, or gel pads to attempt to straighten the toe. Use of ice and anti-inflammatories is often helpful in reducing the pain associated with the bunion.