What is a bunion?
A bunion, also referred to as Hallux Valgus, is a painful bony bump that forms at the joint of your big toe. It develops when the tip of your big toe gets pulled toward the second toe, causing the joint at the base of your big toe to stick out. If left untreated, bunions can get bigger, become extremely painful and even cause the big toe to move on top of the second toe.
A bunionette, also referred to as a tailor's bunion, is a bunion that develops on the joint of your little toe.
Causes Bunions start with the big toe slightly curving toward the second toe. They get bigger in size over time if left untreated. Many conditions can contribute to the bunion development including but not limited to:
- Poor-fitting shoes: Shoes with tight toe box, high heels or no proper arch support tend to cramp your toes into the narrow/pointed toe box. - Inherited foot type - Rheumatoid arthritis that makes your joint swell and hurt - Severe and repetitive stress on the foot or toes, e.g. standing or walking for a long period of time, some unique postures used in ballet, etc.
Medical Treatment Although not all bunion symptoms require medical treatment, see your podiatrist or orthopedic foot specialist to see if your symptoms need medical attention including surgery or medication, or if other complications of bunions could occur like bursitis, hammer toes or metatarsalgia.
Nonsurgical Treatment Some lifestyle changes can help reduce pain, keep the bunion from worsening and prevent surgery. Consult your doctor before you make changes to the way you treat bunions.
1. Change Shoes Wear shoes with a wide toe box and avoid shoes with a tight or pointed toe box that squeeze your toes.
2. Orthotic Insoles To take pressure off your bunion, your podiatrist may recommend over-the-counter or custom-made shoe inserts.
3. Physical Therapy Your physical therapist may teach you exercising techniques to help restore normal motion and strengthen the toe muscles or provide "hands-on" treatments to improve motion and strength.
4. Icing Applying ice to the affected area a few times a day can help reduce swelling. Do not apply ice directly on your skin.
5. High Quality Toe Spacers and Protectors Chiroplax toe separators, toe protectors and bunion pads are made from high quality silicone gel. Sometimes simple products like these can be all you need! Click here to see all bunion products.
The following Chiroplax toe spacers keep toes apart, help realign your toes and prevent bunions from getting worse.
The following Chiroplax bunion/bunionette spacer pads can help realign your toes and provide cushion and relief to your bunions.
The following Chiroplax toe protectors prevent toes from chafing against one another and prevent blisters and corns.
The following Chiroplax bunion patches protect the affected area and provide cushion.