A bunion occurs at the base of the big toe on the lateral side and is characterized by a bony bump that can appear red and feel sore. Bunions appear when the bones at the first joint of the big toe dislocate to an abnormal location. The base of the big toe, therefore, becomes more prominent and the upper part of the big toe moves towards the second toe, squeezing it.

New York is a busy place, but if you must walk or stand for prolonged periods, ensure that you  wear shoes that have a wide toe area to avoid squeezing your feet. Choose shoes that do not squeeze any area of your foot and those that allow enough space for the tip of your big toe. Treatment of bunions can be conservative like the use of New York orthotics, medical, or surgical treatment, depending on the presentation.

How Do Bunions Present?

The symptoms of a bunion include an obvious bulge on the lateral side of the base of your big toe. This bump can be swollen and appear red. Sometimes the bump may feel sore or painful, especially when you wear tightly fitting shoes. The pain of the bunion appears for some period, then disappears and it has a gradual onset and is dull.

Because of the discomfort and pain that the bunion gives you, you may be unable to move your big toe or wear closed-toe shoes. When the big toe puts pressure on the second toe, you may form corns or calluses at the area where these two toes meet. You should consult a doctor when you experience these symptoms to prevent complications.

Some of the complications that can be caused by bunions include bursitis, which is a condition caused by inflammation of the bursae that cushion the joints in the feet. The second toe can bend at the middle joint in a condition called hammertoe, and this can cause you pain. The ball of your foot can also become swollen causing you pain.

What Causes Bunions?

The exact cause of bunions is unknown but it is suggested that some people may be genetically predisposed to getting bunions. If you had a toe deformity when you were born, you are likely to form bunions at some point in your life. Diseases that cause inflammation of the bones like rheumatoid arthritis can predispose you to bunions.

The type of shoes that you wear also contributes to bunions, like wearing tight shoes that don’t fit your feet. Wearing high heels causes your feet to move forward and this can compress your big toe, predisposing you to bunions.

Conservative management of bunions includes applying cold compresses and ice packs at the area to reduce discomfort, and wearing wide, comfortable shoes. You can also get bunion pads and cushions and shoe inserts that prevent your big toe from irritation. If the conservative treatment modalities fail to work, you can get a bunion surgery to remove the swelling and realign your big toe.

Bunions are bumps that occur at the base of the big toe due to the disruption of the first joint. The exact cause of bunions is unknown but genetics and wearing ill-fitting shoes and heels plays a part in bunions. Treatment of bunions can be conservative or surgical, depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.