A Bunion is a deformity of the big toe. A bunion is a toe that points at a sideways angle towards second toe. There is also a characteristic bump on the inner side of the foot.
As the bunion becomes prominent, bunion pain can develop. The medical term for a foot bunion is hallux valgus.
Bunions are a result of complex biomechanical changes that occur in feet.
The type of footwear an individual wears can cause bunion. Foot bunions occur in about 30% of the population of most Western countries but only 3% in eastern countries. They are seen most commonly in women and become more common as people get older.
Tight–fitting shoes are thought to be the main cause of bunions. Shoes such as high heels and shoes with tight toe boxes (e.g.- women’s fashion shoes and cowboy boots) are particularly damaging to the toes. These shoes have a sloping foot bed and narrow toe box.
The slope causes the front of the foot to bear body weight, which encourages forefoot to widen. Also, the angle pushes toes into the narrow toe box, causing the toes to become angled and squeezed together.
With prolonged wearing of constraining footwear, toes will adapt to the new position and lead to the deformity.
Footwear is not only cause of bunion. Injuries to the foot can also be a factor in developing a bunion. Poor foot arch control leading to flat feet or foot overpronation does make an individual biomechanical susceptible to foot bunions.
A family history of bunions also increases the likelihood of developing bunions.
Many people who have a combination of factors that make them susceptible to having this condition.
E.g. - If a women over the age of forty with a family history of bunions, and often wear high heeled shoes, would be considered highly likely to develop a bunion.
To help prevent bunions:
Source - Mayoclinic
Last Modified : 2/20/2020