Bunion Feet Care
The feet play a vital role in our lives. The condition of our feet reflects the way we use or misuse them.
When we allow inefficient walking/running patterns to persist or we wear tight, ill-fitting footwear our feet can suffer.
Bunions, Tailor’s bunions (bunionettes), and hammer or clawed toes are some common problems that can arise when we misuse our feet.
Fortunately, Erica Dash Podiatry can provide immediate relief for these painful conditions.
Bunion (Hallux Abducto Valgus)
Bunions (technically known as hallux abducto valgus, or hallux valgus) involve a change to foot structure that occurs to the big toe joint (first mtp joint).
A bunion is a bony lump where this change in foot structure occurs.
Symptoms of Hallux Valgus Deformity
Bunions are often first noticed as a large and bony bump that develops on the inside of the foot at the base of the big toe. This bony lump can change the shape of your foot. This often makes it difficult to find shoes that fit appropriately.
The big toe will start to migrate towards the second toe, and in later stages, the second toe will begin to cross over or under the big toe. Once a bunion reaches this stage, purchasing footwear becomes difficult.
Other symptoms that result as complications of bunions may include:
- Bunion pain at the site of the base of the big toe.
- Pain and swelling at the joint at the base of the big toe.
- A hammer toe forming at the second toe.
- A bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe.
- Corns and pressure points developing around the first and second toe and big toe joint.
If the condition is left untreated symptoms such as immobility, pain and swelling of the big toe can get worse over time. As your bunion develops the lesser toes may begin to cross over.
Eventually, the deformity can progress and become so pronounced as to make walking difficult and painful.
Causes of Hallux Valgus Deformity:
The bony bump associated with bunions (or hallux valgus) is the result of your big toe moving towards the lesser digits and the 1st metatarsal (the bone before your big toe) begins to move in the opposite direction in order to allow for this change in foot shape. This is what causes your second toe to move upwards in order to allow the big toe to come across. This is how your second toe can become a hammer or claw toe.
Bunion pain is usually caused by these structural changes progressing. Pain associated with bunions can also occur due to the overlying skin rubbing on shoes, or excessive pressure across this big toe joint when walking. Therefore the wearing of tight fitting shoes, or shoes with a narrow-shaped toe box that doesn’t match the shape of your foot, often causes bunions to worsen.
There can be a few causes of bunions, such as:
Genetic foot shape – People may develop bunions with a family history of the condition, meaning you may be predisposed to bunions even if you look after your feet.
‘Flat feet’ – This foot shape places more pressure and stress on your big toe joint, particularly during gait, which in turn causes bunions.
Tight fitting shoes
Footwear with a pointy or narrow toe-box
High-heels due to the amount of pressure put onto your forefoot.
People with connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan’s Syndrome have a higher risk of developing bunions.
Bunions do occur in the male population, however are much more common in women.
Diagnosis of Bunions:
Bunions are often diagnosed with a physical assessment. The podiatrist will often observe the bunion while sitting and standing. It is also helpful for the podiatrist to move the big toe joint through its range of motion to detect if there is any restriction in normal joint motion.
It can sometimes be helpful for the podiatrist to order an x ray to better observe the big toe joint. This will allow accurate measurement of your hallux abducto valgus angle.
Hallux Valgus Treatment
Erica Dash Podiatry provides a thorough Biomechanical Assessment, including your joint range of motion and visual gait analysis that will quickly identify the causative issues behind your bunion and suggest an immediate solution for your pain.
Bunion treatment may include:
Deflective cushioning in your shoes
Toe-wedges, toe props or bunion shields
A course of manipulative therapy
- Shockwave therapy
Foot mobilisation therapy, dry needling and shockwave therapy coupled with stretching and strengthening exercises are all effective treatments to reduce the size of your bunion provided it has not developed beyond stage three.
If no success is found from these more conservative measures, bunion surgery may be indicated. Bunion surgery may also be advised for severe bunions.
Tailor’s bunion (bunionette) is a type of bunion that develops on the outside of the foot near the little toe.
Diagonsis of Tailor’s Bunion:
Visual examination is all that is required to diagnose a tailor’s bunion (bunionette). The joint at the base of the fifth toe is prominent and sometimes can appear red and inflamed.
Symptoms of Tailor’s Bunion:
The symptoms are very similar to hallux valgus deformity but as the tip of the little toe twists in, a bony lump forms at the base of the little toe (the fifth metatarsal).
The name, ‘tailor’s bunion’, came from the painful lumps tailors developed on their feet after sitting cross-legged for lengthy periods.
Causes of Tailor’s Bunion:
- Poor biomechanics
- high arched foot
- tight, narrow shoes
- inherited structural weaknesses in the feet
Risk Factors of Tailor’s Bunions
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Footwear – tight shoes, high heels and ballet flats that cut across the joint at the base of the fifth toe all predispose to a tailor’s bunion.
Treatment of Tailor’s Bunion:
Erica Dash Podiatry applies a methodical and meticulous biomechanical assessment to correct these underlying issues and give you same day relief from pain.
The symptoms of tailor’s bunion can be reduced in a similar manner to bunions with the following:
Deflective cushioning in your shoes
A course of foot mobilisation therapy
The team at Erica Dash Podiatry are committed to providing pain relief and improving your quality of life.
Shockwave is a great alternative to treatments such as dry needling if you’re needle phobic and not keen on dry needling. We also have effective treatment offers for kids.