A bunion, also referred to as hallux vegas, is a bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. It actually reflects a change in the foot’s anatomy. This happens when the big toe leans towards the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. As a result, the alignment of the bones in the foot changes, producing the bunion’s bump.
It is a progressive disorder which develops over the years. Though some people may never have any symptoms, they usually appear in the later stages. They are mostly caused by inheriting a faulty mechanical foot structure. Shoes that crowd the toes do not directly cause bunions, but can worsen an existing bunion by increasing the pain and swelling. Trauma to the foot which results in sprains and fractures can also sometimes cause a bunion bump. Neuromuscular disorders such as polio and limb-length discrepancies can result in bunion in the longer leg. Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis can also cause bunions.
It is identified by pain and soreness in the concerned area. It may also appear inflamed and red with a burning sensation. These symptoms usually worsen while walking or wearing tight fitted shoes which crowd the toes. This explains why more number of women are found with a bunion bump when compared to men. If you are on your feet for long hours, you could get a bunion. Certain specific foot positions such as ballet dancing can also be a causative factor.
Resting adequately and wearing loose-fitted, wider shoes can relieve the pain associated with a bunion. Custom-made orthotic devices can alleviate the bunion symptoms. Bunion shield or pads can reduce the pressure on the bunion. A product which effectively does this is the Hermell Softeze Bunion Cushion. It wraps around from the toe to the sole. Made of soft breathable foam and 100 percent cotton lining, it comes in a standard size which fits both the left and right toes.
The best way to relieve a bunion pain is a good night’s rest. A useful orthotic device typically worn in the night is the bunion splint. It physically pushes the big toe back into normal alignment. The Mor-Bort Valco Hallux Valgus Splint Bunion Regulator, is a nighttime bunion regulator. It works to promote proper alignment of the metatarsophalangeal toe joint. Extremely comfortable, it has a foam lining and hole at the top of the toe to keep the toe breathable. The user can easily adjust the pressure the splint provides by using two Velcro straps.
Another useful nighttime device is the Profoot Goodnight Bunion Regulator. It gently realigns the tight tendons and muscles in the foot. It is a wonderful non-invasive alternative to surgery.
The pressure and friction resulting from bunion and overlapping toes can be corrected by the Silipos Antibacterial Gel Toe Spreader. It not only separates and aligns the toe but its antibacterial formula kills up to 99.9 percent of bacteria and fungus. A comfortable fabric sleeve coated with gel has to be slipped over the toe placing the gel pad directly over the affected area. The antimicrobial ingredient contained in the gel exudes on the skin giving immediate relief.
The inflammation may require an anti-inflammatory drug. Any skin breakdown and infection can be treated with antibiotics.
In case the bunion pain persists even after opting for a correct footwear and orthotics, it may be indicative of a surgery. A variety of surgical procedures are available. They remove the bump of the bone, thereby correcting the deformity of the bony structure of the foot. A foot and ankle surgeon can decide the surgical intervention required.
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I am Swati Chadha. Based out of Mumbai, I am currently a stay at home mom. My past work experience has been in the social development sector with focus on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention. Working on different projects ...
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