All About Bunions – Hammer Toe – Bunionette
On this page you can find information about bunion disease. Also you should visit our slippers and shoes for bunions category for more information best pain relief footwear.
And Please Don't wear high heels or tight, pointy shoes
Bunions are a common problem that can cause foot pain and difficulty wearing shoes. Bunions occur in about 30 percent of the population of most Western countries. They are seen most commonly in women and become more common as people get older.
About Your Parents
Genetics do play a significant role, and people who have bunions in the family are also much more likely to have bunion than people who do not. The shape and structure of your feet are probably the biggest culprits for an increased risk of developing a bunion. You have no control over that since it is inherited and you don't get to choose your parents.
In one study, 83 percent of people with bunions had a family history of bunions. A similar number had bunions on both feet, which points to a cause being the shape and function of their feet increasing their risk of bunions.
About Your Shoes
Tight-fitting shoes are thought to be the cause of bunions in most patients. Shoes such as high heels or cowboy boots are particularly damaging to the toes. These shoes have a sloping footbed and a narrow toe box. The slope causes the front of the foot to be pushed with force into the narrow toe box, causing the toes to become squeezed together.
Depending on factors such as duration of wearing constraining footwear, skeletal maturity, and individual factors, the toes can become adapted to the new position and lead to the deformity we know as a bunion.
Injuries and Inflammatory Conditions
Footwear is not the only cause of a bunion. Injuries to the foot can also be a factor in developing a bunion. People who have rheumatoid arthritis are more prone to bunions, as are people with neuromuscular conditions such as polio.
Many people who have a bunion have a combination of factors that makes them susceptible to having this condition. For example, women over the age of forty who have a family history of bunions, and often wear high-heeled shoes, would be considered likely to develop a bunion.
How Much Does Footwear Affect the Development of Bunions
It's difficult to know exactly how important footwear is in the development of bunions, but we know it is the only variable we can significantly control. Bunions are much less common in countries without Western footwear.
Bunions occur in non-Western countries in about 3 percent of the population. In countries with Western footwear, the prevalence of bunions is over 30 percent. In countries where Western footwear has been introduced recently, the prevalence of bunions has risen to coincide with rates seen in Western countries.
Regardless of whether the shoes caused your bunion, changing them can help you reduce your pain now that you have one. Look for shoes with a wider toe box that is square rather than pointed. Orthotics and padded bunion shields can also help.
Other symptoms of bunions may include
pain and soreness numbness a burning sensation swelling at the joint of the affected toe increased skin thickness at the base of the affected toe hardened skin under the foot redness bump on the base of the affected toe the presence of corns or calluses movement restriction within the affected toe Wearing narrow shoes or high heels or standing for a long time may worsen the symptoms.
Bunions begin as small lumps. They get worse over time, however, causing pain and making walking difficult.
High heels. Wearing high heels forces your toes into the front of your shoes, often crowding your toes.
Ill-fitting shoes. People who wear shoes that are too tight, too narrow or too pointed are more susceptible to bunions.
Rheumatoid arthritis. Having this inflammatory condition can make you more susceptible to bunions.
Heredity. The tendency to develop bunions might be because of an inherited structural foot defect.
Bunions start off small and grow over time if they're not treated. As a bunion grows, it becomes more painful and difficult to walk.
In the most severe cases, the big toe may extend over or below the second toe, possibly putting pressure on the second toe that pushes it out of alignment and against the third toe.
Left untreated, a bunion may also cause: Bursitis, a condition in which the bursa (a fluid-filled sac that cushions bones, tendons, and muscles near the joints) of the big toe becomes inflamed and painful Hammertoe, an abnormal bend in the joint of the toe Metatarsalgia, an inflammation of the ball of the foot
Your shoes should conform to the shape of your feet without squeezing or pressing any part of your foot.
Common causes of this include
- a traumatic toe injury
- an unusually high foot arch
- wearing shoes that don’t fit properly
- tightened ligaments or tendons in the foot
- pressure from a bunion, which is when your big toe points inward toward your second toe Spinal cord or peripheral nerve damage may cause all of your toes to curl downward.
Certain risk factors increase your likelihood of developing a hammer toe. These include:
- a family history of hammer toe
- chronically wearing tight or pointy-toed shoes
- having calluses, bunions, or corns, which are thickened layers of skin caused by prolonged and repeated friction
Wearing shoes that are too small can force the joint of your toes into an abnormal position. This makes it impossible for your muscles to stretch out. Over time, the practice of wearing improperly fitting shoes increases your risk of developing:
hammer toes blisters and ulcerations bunions corns
- a toe that bends downward
- corns or calluses
- difficulty walking
- inability to flex your foot or wiggle your toes
- claw-like toes
See your orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist right away if you develop any of these symptoms.
Treatment for a mild hammer toe
You can correct a hammer toe caused by inappropriate footwear by wearing properly fitting shoes. If a high arch caused the condition, wearing toe pads or insoles in your shoes can help. These pads work by shifting your toe’s position, which relieves pain and corrects the appearance of your toe.
You can usually use over-the-counter (OTC) cushions, pads, or medications to treat bunions and corns. However, if they’re painful or if they cause your toes to become deformed, your doctor may opt to surgically remove them.
Don’t pop any blisters on your toes. Popping blisters can cause pain and infection. Use OTC creams and cushions to relieve pain and keep blisters from rubbing against the inside of your shoes.
Gently stretching your toes can also help relieve pain and reposition the affected toe.
Treatment for a severe hammer toe
If you’re unable to flex your toe, surgery is the only option to restore movement. Surgery can reposition the toe, remove deformed or injured bone, and realign your tendons and joints. Surgery is normally done on an outpatient basis, so you can return home on the day of your surgery.
The best hammer toe prevention tip is to wear properly fitting shoes. If your shoes feel too snug, go to your local shoe store and have the length and width of your feet measured.
If you wear high heels, the heel height should be 2 inches or less. Wearing shoes with high heels increases the pressure on your toes and causes them to bend. It can also cause the formation of corns and a high arch.