Bunions occur on the side of the big toe and can become a constant source of pain and irritation. Bunions typically develop over time and may not become an issue until the mid to later years of life. For some, bunions will occur much earlier and need to be treated by an experienced chiropractor or physiotherapist.
Bunion symptoms come on gradually and typically increase over time. The most common symptom of a bunion is pain around the base of the big toe. A bunion forces the big toe to point in and makes the big toe knuckle stick out. As the knuckle sticks out more friction and irritation to the side of the knuckle occur.
In some cases, there is inflammation or fluid about the bunion making it hot and swollen. In advanced cases, people can have difficulty walking on their feet or standing on their feet for an extended time.
Women and older people are more likely to have bunions. Teenagers can also develop the condition. There are differing opinions on what causes bunions beyond genetic and hereditary factors. For example, it used to be thought that tight shoes and high heels could cause bunions alone. This is unlikely to be the only factor that leads to the formation of bunions in individuals. There are risk factors for bunion development and progression, and these include:
- Poor fitting shoes
- High heels which cause pressure on the foot as the heel is raised
- Biomedical factors, such as if your foot rolls in or flattens
- Degeneration of the big toe joint
- Neuromuscular or structural disorders
The treatment of a bunion will depend on its severity and location. With minor bunions, chiropractic and physiotherapy treatments are adequate to improve the function on the big toe and limit pain. In advanced cases, surgery may be required. Please discuss this with your chiropractor, physiotherapist or medical practitioner.