What Is a Bunion?
A bunion is a bone deformity that can occur most commonly in the base of the big toe. It generally appears in the form of a bump on the joint that is formed where the bones of the big toe and the bones of the foot meet.
These visible bumps show how the big toe begins to move toward the smaller toes over time. They are often relatively harmless, but some who have them complain of pain associated with their bunions.
Orthopedic doctors in Atlanta see all types of bunion formations, ranging from small ones that can still be corrected with lifestyle changes, to large ones that require surgical fixes to be made right. Keep reading to find out if your shoes are causing you to have bunions.
How Do Bunions Form?
You may wonder how such a deformity in the bones of the foot would come to be. It seems as though the causes should be more severe than they generally are. Bunions arise as a result of several primary causes.
Bunions are common in those with overall foot deformities and other conditions affecting the shape of the foot. They can also occur as a result of arthritis or other degenerative medical conditions.
Oftentimes, and much to the surprise of many patients, bunions come about because of the way we wear our shoes or what type of shoes we choose. Obviously, choosing to wear shoes that don’t properly accommodate our feet can cause issues or even pain in the feet over time. This can be because the size of the shoe is too small, or the fit of the shoe is abnormal or too narrow for our particular foot.
Over time, limiting the space your toes have to perform their functions can result in bunions forming and the toes beginning to slant abnormally.
How Do Shoes and Other Factors Increase the Growth of Bunions?
It sounds strange, and understandably so, for shoe usage and selection to play a major part in any medical condition’s growth, but in the case of bunions, the correlations are clear.
Studies have been conducted to better understand the contributing factors for instances of bunion growth. They all indicate a likelihood that wearing shoes of any kind increases the chances of restricting the movement of the toes and thus causing bunions.
How Can I Avoid Shoes That Cause Bunions?
It is important to make sensible shoe selections to prevent bunions from forming or growing. Here are a couple tips to consider:
- Don’t opt for shoes that will restrict your feet unnecessarily. Shoes that tend to be the worst culprits are those with narrow ends or those with irregular shapes that conform to fashion trends, but not comfort standards. Remember, the function of your shoes is to protect your feet from the elements and injury from surfaces or objects. If your shoes are doing something counter to that aim, dump them and make a more conscientious choice.
- Buy the right size. Don’t assume that each and every brand of shoe will fit the same or provide the correct fit if you trust a number. Inspect and try on shoes before you purchase them to ensure that they will serve you as a buffer between your foot and the ground, but not impede your foot’s natural functions.
What Are My Options for Treatment?
Fortunately, bunions are a highly treatable foot condition that rarely need extensive treatment to cure. In fact, most of the time, bunions are more effectively treated or prevented by altering one’s lifestyle than by opting for a surgical correction.
These surgeries, while they often produce results, can have side effects that compare to the original problem, and can also require more serious lifestyle alterations for the rest of the patient’s life. Find out more about preventing foot injuries.
It is important that you work with your doctor to consider what options might be right for you to treat your bunions and lead a healthy lifestyle. Contact our team today to meet with an orthopedic doctor in one of our convenient Atlanta area offices for expert advice on solving your bunion problem.