Bunions are one of the most common forefoot problems. A bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint. This bump is actually a bone protruding towards the inside of the foot. Wearing shoes that are tapered in the toe area or that are too small can cause a bunion to worsen to the point where surgery is necessary.
Some of the symptoms of bunions include inflammation, swelling and soreness around the joint of the big toe. The discomfort caused by this condition can also cause improper walking. With the continued movement of the big toe towards the smaller toes, it is common to find the big toe resting under or over the second toe. This causes another common forefoot condition called overlapping toes.
Another type of bunion, a Tailor’s Bunion or bunionette, can form on the outside of the foot towards the joint at the little toe. This smaller bump forms when the little toe moves inwards towards the big toe.
The bunion or bunionette can develop from abnormal foot function or arthritis, or by wearing improperly fitted footwear. Tight, narrow dress shoes with a pointy toe box can cause the foot to begin to take the shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion.
The best way to alleviate the pain associated with bunions is to wear properly fitted shoes with support to off weight the joint. Shoes designed with a wider toe box and orthoses can be used for this condition to provide extra comfort, support and protection.