Bunion (Hallux Valgus)

What is it?

  • A bunion (Hallux valgus) is an enlargment or swelling of the joint at the base of your big toe, and in some cases additional bone formation. Often this causes the joint at the base of the toe to bulge outward from the inner side of the foot and the big toe points inward (toward the smaller toes).
  • Some of the causes may be footwear, disease, genetics and by our old friend, overpronation. Bunions are a progressive deformity. You don’t just wake up one morning and there it is. How fast it develops depends on the amount of excess foot motion a person is born with. The area will often become painful and red. Controlling the excess pronation can often take pressure off the first toe joint and help to relieve the pain, but it will not change the size of the enlargement.
  • Bursitis is a painful swelling of the fluid-filled sac (bursa) at the base of the big toe that occurs because of the hallux valgus.

How do you treat it?

  • Proper fitting footwear to alleviate pressure.
  • Bunion shield pads or modified shoes may also help relieve painful pressure over the bunion.
  • Prescription orthotics to reduce abnormal bone pressures and underlying biomechanical causes
  • Severely painful bunions or a severe degree of hallux valgus may require surgical correction.

How do you prevent it?

  • Proper fitting footwear
  • Allow enough room or width in the toe area of the footwear, toavoid scrunching of the toes.
  • Prescription orthotics to reduce abnormal bone pressures and improve foot function.
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