A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe. It occurs when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place, causing the joint to become enlarged and misaligned. Bunions can be painful and cause discomfort, particularly when wearing shoes or walking.
Bunions can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Genetics: Bunions may be inherited from family members who also have the condition.
- Footwear: Tight, narrow, or high-heeled shoes can put pressure on the toes and contribute to the development of bunions.
- Foot structure: People with flat feet or other foot structural abnormalities may be more prone to developing bunions.
- Arthritis: Arthritis can cause inflammation and deformity in the joints, including the big toe joint.
Symptoms of a bunion can include pain, swelling, redness, and difficulty moving the big toe. Treatment options for bunions may include wearing comfortable shoes with adequate space for the toes, using bunion pads or splints to help realign the toe, taking pain medications or anti-inflammatory drugs, and performing exercises to improve flexibility and reduce pain. In some cases, surgery may be required to correct the misalignment of the joint.