What is a Bunion and How Do You Treat It?
For those who have ever noticed a large area on the inner portion of the foot, this is usually defined as a bunion. When asking what is a bunion, there are a few things that will commonly characterize bunions; some of the common symptoms or appearances you are going to notice include:
- enlargement and repositioning of the joints at the ball of your feet;
- usually affect the inner foot, but in some cases can affect the bottom and smaller toe;
- they most commonly affect women and may or might not have any symptoms; and,
- they will typically last for a period of time (a few days to weeks, depending on the treatment chosen).
What is a bunion?
The most common bunion is found on the inner portion of the joint base around the big toe; the enlargement that appears is due to new bone formation, and this is most commonly associated with the misallignment of the large toe. The misallignment causes the big toe to point outwards, and repositions the foot’s allignment. The enlarged portion around the joint might be accompanied by puffiness, redness, and a sore feeling, or in some cases, you will not feel any symptoms with the growth of the bunion. In some cases, a small sac will also form, which can lead to pain and additional swelling in the area. In some cases (rare cases) a bunion will form on the smaller outside portion of the small toe, and will generally come along with the similar symptoms as the more common bunions.
Who will develop bunions
For the most part, bunions affect women as opposed to men; some of the reasons for this might include:
- tighter fitting shoes;
- heels and uncomfortable shoes being worn for longer periods of time;
- narrow toed shoes; and,
- generally tighter, form fitting shoes, which cause the formation of the bunions.
Although the cause of bunions is not precise or certain, some believe that genetics do play a role in the formation of bunions, especially when they start to form with younger individuals.
Other individuals who may notice formation of bunions are those who have abnormal formation of bones in their feet, nerve conditions affecting the feet, or any injuries on the top of their feet. They are very common in athletes (from ballet dancers, to runners), due to the fact that they are using the inner portion of the feet so much.
Symptoms & signs
Although not everyone who gets bunions notice these symptoms, some of the common ones are:
- pain (around the swelling and formation of the bunion;
- swelling around the soft tissues;
- puffiness or redness around the bunion; and,
- in the worse case scenarios, chronic pain which is continual, due to the position of the bunion, the size, and the formation of the feet in general.
It is common that you do not feel any of these symptoms, especially if you commonly get bunions; but, for people who have never had them, or have only had them a few times, these are some of the most commonly reported signs and symptoms that are associated with bunions.
If you do have a bunion, depending on the severity of the case, there are various treatment options to consider, which include:
- resting the feet (in the event it is smaller, and poses no danger);
- avoiding excessive walking or exercise;
- wearing loose fitting shoes, or avoiding wearing shoes for a period of some time;
- using anti inflammatory medications (for more severe cases);
- antibiotics (if there is any sign of skin breakage or damage); and,
- in the worse case scenarios, an individual may require a surgical procedure to be performed on the bunion. If it is constant, and does not go away after other treatments, this minor surgical procedure will remove the bunion, and the pain and swelling associated with it.
Although bunions are not a very severe or dangerous condition, depending on the size, position and placement, and the levels of pain one is feeling, there are different treatment options to consider. If bunions are persistent, or chronic, you may want to speak to a doctor about the possible solutions, and determine whether or not a surgical procedure is the best option for you.