It’s that time of year again—the weather is getting warmer and your switching from boots and closed toed shoes to sandals and flip flops. If you are one of the thousands of people who have crooked toes you may not be so happy about the change in footwear. Crooked toes are not always just a cosmetic concern, they can be painful and contribute to problems in the foot and ankle, too. For many, bunions in particular can be the cause of the pain in their feet and make it difficult to find comfortable shoes. Before we answer the question, “what can I do about my bunions”, lets define what a bunion is.
What is a bunion?
A bunion (also known as Hallux Valgus) is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. A bunion forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. Sometimes the big toe will actually sit on top of or under the second toe. The skin over the bunion might be red and sore.
What causes a bunion?
There are three answers to this question. The first is the easiest- they can be inherited. If your mother or father has bunions, you may have them as well.
The second answer is “shoes”. Any shoe can cause a bunion to form, but pointy toed high heels are the worst culprit. The less room you have in the part of the shoe where your toes rest, the more pressure there is on your foot and the more likely it is that your toes may shift. Add a high narrow heel that forces your weight onto the ball of your foot and the natural mechanics of your foot are dramatically altered for the worse.
There are of course many choices between what look goods and shoes that sacrifice the health of your feet. And while it’s true, shoes are not the only cause of bunions, the more you wear these types of shoes, the more likely you are to see the changes in your feet that can lead to bunions. Shoes may or may not cause bunions but they do worsen problems that may exist due to heredity.
Finally, the third answer is that sometimes there is no single cause and it may be a combination of factors including shoe style, heredity, injury or arthritis.
Can a bunion cause problems?
Any change in the shape of your foot that alters how your weight is distributed when you’re walking can cause a problem. How severe the problem is depends on how severe the condition is.
It has been estimated that your big toe bears a force as great as two times your body weight with each step. If your big toe is angled out to the side, it cannot absorb this pressure or correctly propel you forward when you walk.
What can you do?
There is no doubt about it, bunions can certainly be painful. Not only do they rub against your shoes, the ligaments around your joint can be stretched and contribute to additional pain in your toe and foot. The 3pp Bunion Aider can help by providing gentle stretching to stabilize the big toe and relieve bunion pain. The Bunion Aider helps to straighten the big toe during the day or at night while you sleep.