Sacramento, California (PRWEB) April 24, 2013
“Do you have a bony bump on your big toe? If so, it just might be a bunion!” said California Podiatric Medical Association Director Rebecca Moellmer, DPM. Dr. Moellmer is a podiatric physician and surgeon on faculty with the College of Podiatric Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, California.
A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. Bunions form when the big toe pushes up against the other toes, forcing the big toe joint in the opposite direction, away from the normal profile of the foot. Over time, the abnormal position enlarges the big toe joint, further crowding the other toes and causing pain. Bunions can also lead to other toe deformities, such as hammertoe, where the joints in the adjoining toes also begin to bend.
“Many people with bunions suffer from discomfort and pain as a result of the constant irritation caused by the friction and rubbing of the enlargement against footwear,” said Dr. Moellmer.
Dr. Moellmer went on to say that with bunions “the skin covering the toe can become red and tender, and because this joint flexes with every step, the more inflamed the bunion gets, the more it hurts to walk. Over time arthritis or bursitis may set in, and everyday walking may become difficult – all contributing to chronic pain.”
Studies show that women are anywhere from two to nine times more likely to develop a bunion than men! Bunions can occur for a number of reasons, but a common cause is wearing shoes that fit too tightly. Bunions can also develop as a result of an inherited structural defect, stress on the foot, or a medical condition such as arthritis.
Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the bunion and the amount of pain it causes.
Nonsurgical treatments that may relieve the pain and pressure of a bunion include:
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