What is a Bunion?
A bunion is an enlargement of bone at the base of the big toe. It can occur on one or both feet. The big toe becomes deviated towards the second toe—this is called “Hallux Valgus.”
The problem is progressive and can cause hammer toes and pain in the ball of the foot.
This term describes the position of the big toe in relationship to the midline of the foot. The problem is progressive and can cause hammer toes and pain in the ball of the foot.
Causes of Bunions and Progression
Bunions are normally inherited and get worse as we age. It’s very commonly painful, varying with shoe type and the kind of work we do. Pronation causes the foot to be unstable and contributes to bunion progression. This slowly overpowers the stabilizing force of the muscles in the arch, causing the big toe to bend and become weak. Many times calluses develop on the side of the bunion or big toe because of the deviation of the big toe.
Bunions may worsen with tight, point-toed, or high-heeled shoes. Shoes that are too small can exacerbate the underlying cause. Women tend to develop painful bunions more than men.
Over time the bunion can become very painful. This causes changes in the shape of the foot and alters the biomechanics, causing general foot and leg pain. If the bunion starts pushing on the second toe it causes hammer toes; that’s why early treatment is necessary.