What Are Bunions?

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Bunions

Bunions are bony protrusions on the joint at your big toe’s base. They are most common in women and people who wear high-heeled shoes, but they can also develop due to arthritis or injury. Bunions New York can become painful if the bone protrusion becomes inflamed or presses against the skin.

The pain from bunions is sometimes mistaken for plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue running along the bottom of your foot from your heel to your toes.

What are the causes of bunions?

Unlike plantar fasciitis, which is generally caused by overuse and exercise, bunions are caused by constantly wearing shoes that put extra pressure on that foot area. Any time you wear an uncomfortable shoe, it can cause your foot to shift position until it finds a more comfortable way to balance. Because the front of your foot doesn’t have any muscle support to change its shape, that front part can begin to bulge out.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

Pain

The most obvious symptom of a bunion is pain, which may be particularly acute when a person first wakes up in the morning or after periods of rest. Pain may also be present when walking on hard surfaces or with certain movements like squatting down or twisting. The pain of a bunion can be exacerbated by prolonged pressure against the tip of the big toe, such as when wearing tight shoes. However, not everyone with bunions experiences pain. In fact, many people with bunions do not experience any pain at all.

Swelling, redness, and warmth

A bunion is usually accompanied by swelling, redness, and warmth at the base of the big toe, which may become painful and tender to the touch if there has been an injury to this area. There may also be some mild to moderate redness and warmth around the rest of the affected foot, particularly if there is inflammation in other parts of the joint. Swelling and redness around a bunion often correspond with discomfort and tenderness in surrounding joints as well.

Arthritis

Bunions are signs of arthritis in your feet, which means they will also ache when you aren’t wearing shoes. You may also have pain in your knees and lower back. If this is not treated, you could be looking at the surgery with similar risks and recovery time as someone who had knee replacement surgery.

A bunion can irritate the skin around it due to continual rubbing from shoes that don’t fit properly. This may lead to a chronic condition known as interdigital neuroma, which causes numbness.

The best way to avoid bunions is to wear well-fitting shoes that allow your toes to spread out when you walk. The more room you have between your toes, the less likely they will rub against each other and cause problems. Avoid shoes that are narrow or pointy, as well as high heels, because they put pressure on your big toe. If you do wear high heels, ensure there is plenty of room for your toes to move freely and keep them from getting squished together while moving. However, if you already have bunions, reach out to Kenneth Meisler, DPM, PLLC & Associates.