Bunions & Bunionettes
Bunions are a result of structural changes of the foot bones and can become progressively worse with time. Bunions occurs due to a combination of factors including poorly fitting footwear, unstable foot biomechanics and high-heeled shoes. It is a progressive condition that may get worse if the causative factors are not addressed.
The characteristic sign of bunions is the inward leaning of the big toe. Other symptoms include:
- A bump on the side of the big toe
- Redness or inflammation
Pain isn’t always present with bunions. Depending on the extent of the joint deviation and soft tissue changes, the amount of pain will be variable between people. The pain may be described as an ache, and may be felt with movement of the joint, particularly at full point or extension. Activity that requires an increase in the joint motion available may impinge the joint and create painful symptoms (i.e. sprinting, dancing, and lunges at the gym). High-heeled shoes may also increase stress on this joint.
A podiatrist can accurately diagnose bunions and identity the extent of the changes. A treatment plan will be then implemented to reduce symptoms and hopefully limit progression. Biomechanical and alignment issues will be identified. Mobilisation techniques, and specific stretching and strengthening exercises are important in addressing this complaint. Appropriate footwear will be advised and orthoses may or may not be required.
Bunions will continue to degenerate if their causes aren’t addressed. This condition is often associated with other foot problems. If symptoms or the deformation are not reducible, surgery may be indicated.