A bunion is the most common problem of the forefoot. A bunion is a prominent bump on the first metatarsophalangeal joint or big toe joint. This condition is most common in women; however, men can have bunions as well.
Another type of bunion, which some individuals may experience, is a Tailor’s Bunion, or what is more commonly known as a bunionette. A bunionette can form on the lateral side of the foot at the fifth metatarsophalangeal joint or the little toe joint.
Common symptoms of a bunion and/or bunionette include:
- Soreness of the area
Bunions can also create overlapping toes.
Bunions and bunionettes can develop due to:
- A lack of proper biomechanics of the foot
- Improperly fitted footwear – the most common cause
Tight, narrow dress shoes with a constrictive toe box can cause the foot to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion. The toes are squeezed together in the shoe causing the first metatarsal bone to protrude toward the medial side of the foot. It’s important for women, as well as men, to realize that improperly fitted, taper-toed shoes can cause a bunion to worsen to the point where surgery may be necessary.
The use of an ezWalker® Custom Performance Orthotic can lessen, and in some cases, eliminate the pain and discomfort caused by bunions or bunionettes. Properly fitted footwear also provides a healthy environment for the foot.
Other conservative treatments for bunions include products designed to relieve pressure, such as bunion shields which are worn during the day, and bunion night splints. If bunion pain persists and is left untreated, often a bony protrusion may develop, creating a spur as the body’s way of protection.
Our feet are constantly changing as we age. Have your shoe fit checked regularly. Remember, the size on the measuring device is only a reference. Mass-manufactured shoes are NOT all created equal. Refer to the Shoe Fitting Reference Guide for proper guidelines on how to best fit your shoes.
If you follow these guidelines and your bunion pain persists, you must seek the counsel of a physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.