The Basics of Bunion Pain

The Basics of Bunion Pain

If you are experiencing a painful, potentially red and swollen area around your big toe joint, you may be suffering bunion pain. People with this condition frequently complain of stiffness in their big toe that makes them reluctant to bend it. A bunion is an unnatural, bony lump, forming at the base of the big toe where the foot is attached to it.

Your big toe may deviate towards the other toes, meaning that the big toe’s base pushes outward on the first metatarsal bone – the bone directly behind the big toe. This results in a bunion – or, if it involves the little toe and fifth metatarsal, a bunionette (it's not as cute as it sounds).

Bunions can cause extreme pain and contribute to the development of calluses.

Causes of Bunions

When you walk, all of your weight rests on the bunion with every step since it's located at a joint where the toe usually bends when you walk. To relieve your pain, you should figure out what's causing the bunion. 

Your Shoes

Your likelihood of developing a bunion is also stronger if you are a woman, particularly if you wear pointed high heels or other tight, poorly fitting shoes over a long period because these shoes push the foot bones into an unnatural shape.

Excessive Pronation

Excessive pronation can be a significant factor in the development of bunions. Pronation is the normal movement of your foot and the way foot absorbs the weight of your body when you walk. Excessive pronation is when your foot turns too far one way or the other, putting too much weight on the unnatural area of the foot. 

No Support 

A weak or tired foot or unsupportive footwear can cause greater than normal arch flattening, placing greater pressure and force on the big toe joint. The degenerative changes and inflammation resulting from this can irritate the bunion.

Treating Bunions

A simple and effective means of treating bunion pain is the 3 S's: stretching, strengthening, and supporting. These three things are routinely recommended.

The stretching of the calf and foot, for example, can be instrumental in decreasing pressure and by strengthening the ankle and foot, you can also help reduce the pressures on the foot resulting from overpronation.

It is also highly advisable to support the foot with appropriate shoes and insoles, including to prevent the reoccurrence or worsening of problems.

If you have bunions, browse our insoles to find the right fit for you. 

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