What is bunion and how to treat them?

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Bunion is a bony, lump-filled deformity of the joint found under the big toe and causes the big toe to point in the direction of the other toes of the foot. The lump is painful and there is discomfort when walking, wearing shoes and there is swelling, redness and tenderness found around the big toe.


Signs and symptoms of a bunion

  • A persistent pain
  • There is problem in finding shoes that will fit properly and difficulty in walking
  • Swelling and redness found around the big toe
  • A lumpy, bump found at the base of the big toe
  • Presence of corns and calluses found between the first and second toe
  • Development of blisters around the bunion
Swelling and redness found around the big toe

Bunions can be caused by a genetic condition that runs in the family. It is also due to wearing of not properly fit shoes, tight fitting, high-heeled or narrow shoes. Bunion can also be triggered by a congenital deformity or develops after an accident or severe injury on the foot. People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis can also acquire a bunion.

Some complications of bunion

Bursitis is a painful condition that happens when the small pad that is filled with fluids or bursa that function in cushioning the bones, tendons and muscles that are found near the joints are inflamed.

Metatarsalgia is a condition that causes inflammation and pains in the balls of the foot.

Hammertoe is the abnormal bend found in the middle joint of a toe and usually it is the toe that is next to the big toe and it causes pain and pressure.

Treatment of bunions

  • Place shoe inserts into the shoes in order to reduce a bunion from occurring and preventing it from worsening.
  • Wear spacers or foam pads that function in holding apart the first and second toes during sleeping or you can cut a hole on an old pair of shoes for the same effect. This procedure helps in minimizing pain and pressure caused by a bunion.
  • Apply cold compress, like ice packs to the bunion three times a day, in order to minimize the swelling. You can enroll in a first aid class to learn more about this condition.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen to reduce the inflammation and pain.

In order to prevent the occurrence of bunions, wear comfortable shoes that fits properly, do not cause cramping of the toes and there is space between the top portion of the shoe and the longest toe.

Avoid wearing shoes that are pointed, high heeled shoes and nylon since they cause crowding of the toes and avoid standing for long periods at a time since they can aggravate bunions.

Another option is surgery which involves the removal of a part of the bone to make the big toe straight and join the affected bones as well as remove any inflamed tissues that are surrounding the joints of the big toe.

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