For any of you who may have suffered from bunions in the past, you’ll know firsthand just how painful and embarrassing this condition can actually be. Bunions are surprisingly common and can affect a number of people from all walks of life, no matter how healthy or unhealthy that individual may be. If you’re not familiar with bunions then fear not because in this article we’ll take a look at what bunion is, what causes it, and how it can be treated.
What is a bunion?
A bunion, or a “hallux abducto valgus deformity” as is its scientific name, is basically a deformity of the big toe. It is most commonly described as an enlargement of the tissue and/or bone around the joint, located at the head of the big toe (refer picture below).
Source of Illustration: Deposit Photos
What causes bunions? – This question is surprising, not one hundred percent answered yet if truth be told. And it is causing some real headaches for trained and fully qualified medical experts from all over the world. Some experts believe that bunions are caused due to the genetics in your family, others believe they are caused by the long-term use of shoes, particularly ones which may be uncomfortable, such as ones with pointed toes, or high heels. Bunions generally tend to occur when extreme or unusual pressure is applied to the side of a person’s big toe. Over time the pressure is believed to cause a deformity in the toe and force it to bend at an unusual angle. As this constantly causes more pressure to be placed on the toe, it causes the tissue surround it to become tender and inflamed and swollen. Though there is no completely clear cause of bunions, it is strongly believed that it is ill-fitting shoes which are responsible for this painful affliction.
Bunions can be treated in a number of different ways many of which have been proven to be extremely successful and relatively pain-free. For example, a simple surgical procedure is known as “osteotomy” has been especially effective over the years. Basically, the procedure involves the abnormally shaped bony bump being removed, whilst the bones in the toe joint are cut back and placed back in line with one another. If you’re searching for a less radical procedure, then shoe insoles can be purchased from a number of locations, which are designed to take the pressure of the abnormally shaped big toe. These insoles can be very effective at reducing pain brought on by the bunion, but will not help with the abnormally shaped big toe.
Another great treatment is with the use of something called a ‘toe spreader’ (refer illustration below). These toe spreaders do exactly what is said on the tin, they are designed to spread the toe and relieve stress and discomfort. They are made using special polymer gel technology, which is designed to be completely hygienic as they inhibit the growth of bacteria. These toe spreaders help to preserve the ailment of the metatarsal phalangeal joint (keep the tow joint pointing in the right direction), and also reduce friction and irritation caused by other toes rubbing against the bunion.
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