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What are Bunions?

by MASS4D® Insoles January 14, 2018

A bunion refers to a structural problem with the foot in the form of a bony bump sticking out from the side of the foot, at the big toe joint.

This bump develops as the big toe pushes against the second toe, creating a prominent lump to grow out from the inside of the foot.

Early symptoms include pain at the big toe joint which gradually becomes warm and swollen as the condition progresses.

This condition is quite common among women who are fond of wearing tight-fitting or high-heeled shoes; these types of shoes force the foot into an unnatural position, restricting movement of the toes.

Some people may even complain of a painful fluid-filled sac developing over the bunion. This may make it even harder to find the right kind of shoes to wear with this condition.

 
Bunions
A bunion forms as a bony bump near the big toe joint.

Bunion risk factors


Flat feet can be considered as one of the major risk factors that can lead to the development of bunions. This is because when you have flat feet, your foot ends up flattening completely on to the ground.

This unhealthy foot movement causes an unequal distribution of weight across the bottom of the feet, shifting majority of the weight towards the forefoot.

The big toe, under these conditions, is unable to function efficiently which eventually causes changes in the way it moves. By continuously pushing against the second toe, an imbalance is brought about in the forefoot while walking.

This is why it becomes necessary to evaluate the whole foot when considering treatment for bunion; a bunion is often a sign of a problem in the functioning of the foot itself.

Foot posture problems need to be identified and treated early on to protect both the feet and lower body from complications in the long term.

Footwear choices can also affect the formation of a bunion. Wearing tight-fitting shoes and high heels can make the bunions worse as they put excessive pressure on the big toe.

Most high-heeled shoes have a narrow toe box, which compresses the toes. As there is already excessive pressure on the toes and the ball of the foot, women who regularly wear narrow, high-heeled shoes are more likely to develop foot structure problems like bunions than women who wear flat shoes.

It is also worthy of noting that prolonged use of high heels can lead to tight calves which can cause flat feet to develop over a period of time.

Bunions can also occur due to hereditary reasons. This is because you are likely to develop flat feet if you have a family history of the same.

Obesity has the potential to make an existing bunion problem worse because of the added weight placed on the feet. This can lead to improper foot movement and increase the pressure on the big toe which can slow down healing.

It is also possible for bunions to form as a secondary result of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

It typically begins with limited movement and pain in your big toe joint (hallux limitus), and can gradually progress to no movement in the joint at all (hallux rigidus).

Redness and inflammation at the base of the big toe may also be observed in hallux limitus/rigidus.

Early intervention is critical in a hallux limitus/rigidus diagnoses, or it could lead to the development of a bunion.

Treatment generally includes stretching and strengthening exercises. In addition, you may be required to wear insoles to make the treatment more effective.

Foot Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Better Posture and Sports Performance in One Insole     know more



Bunion treatment options


An early detection of bunions can help in stunting its growth to prevent the deformity from getting worse. Moreover, this can also help you in avoiding surgery by pursuing conservative treatment options instead.

If you suspect you have a bunion, visit a foot specialist who can examine your feet and confirm this.

By conducting detailed physical examinations, the foot specialist will be able to get a better idea of the progression of the problem. X-rays are often used to locate the exact problem and evaluate the overall condition of the foot.

Once a bunion is confirmed, you should first switch to a pair of comfortable shoes with enough room for the toes to move. Wearing tight-fitting shoes and high heels can make the bunions worse as they put excessive pressure on the big toe.

The American Podiatry Medical Association (APMA) recommends shoes that provide adequate/good cushioning at the forefoot to allow the toes to relax.

If you’re going to wear high-heeled shoes, make sure the height is not more than 2 inches to avoid injuries caused by excessive pressure on the toes and ball of the foot.

Ideally, you should alternate between different types of shoes in order to reduce the stress placed on the feet and thus the lower body.

High Heels

Ice therapy can help in providing pain relief especially for those bunions that have become swollen. Apply an ice pack 10-15 minutes every hour until the swelling goes down.

In case the pain becomes unbearable, you can consider anti-inflammatory medications or steroid injections that can help in providing temporary relief from pain.

You can also practice stretching and strengthening exercises, after consulting a physiotherapist, to promote movement in the big toe and to reduce much of the pain caused by the bunion.

One good exercise to consider is the golf ball roll which involves rolling a golf ball under the arch of the foot for 2-5 minutes. This simple exercise can help in improving flexibility and relieving pain.

In case, you have flat feet, you can also try practising arch strengthening exercises such as the towel scrunch. Simply, place your feet on a towel and start grabbing it by the toes until you reach the edge.

For tight calves, practise calf stretches that can help loosen up tightness in the calf muscles which may be responsible for collapsed arches over time.

MASS4D® Insoles can help bunions


Since foot posture problems represent a major risk factor for bunions, it is necessary to consider treatment options for these problems as well.

The main function of the big toe is to help during the push-off stage while walking. If there’s excessive pressure on the forefoot, the toe is unable to perform this function efficiently, which can lead to the development of a bunion.

For this purpose, MASS4D® Insoles are recommended for encouraging proper movement of the toes. These help speed up the healing process, reduce inflammation and allow for pain-free and full motion of the big toe.

MASS4D® insoles can also help in keeping any excess stress off the affected big toe joint to give it enough time to heal and recover.

Depending on whether you have high or low arches, these insoles can help enhance the strength of your arches while promoting healthy foot movement.

When you have flat feet, the arch structure is compromised and the foot arch collapses to the ground as you put weight on your feet.

As a result, your feet are unable to absorb ground reaction forces sufficiently, which may cause pain along the bottom of the foot.

MASS4D® Insoles assist in stabilising the foot arch especially when included in a rehabilitation plan that consists of calf stretching and arch strengthening exercises.

These insoles enhance strength in the arch which prevents it from collapsing and consequently, improves the shock absorption properties of the feet.

MASS4D® Insoles help promote posture alignment from the feet up to the hips and spine. In doing so, they provide relief from muscle tension, joint pain and arthritis.

Improvement In Lower Body

You will begin to notice changes in the way you walk, with huge improvements in balance and stability.

This is the reason why insoles are frequently recommended for the elderly population, just as often as they are recommended for elite athletes.

With the risk of developing foot and body conditions minimised through the use of insoles, you’re saved from having to spend on months (or possibly years) of medical services and fees.

As compared to other therapeutic devices available in the market, MASS4D® Insoles represent a relatively easy solution to managing a foot problem like bunion, depending on the extent and severity of the problem.

It is important to note that most problems related to bad foot posture happen over a period of time. So, while you may not currently experience any issues with your flat or high arches, it is still necessary to get them treated.

When you purchase an insole, you are essentially buying a product that has been created to provide optimal support to your feet.

For this purpose, the insole is produced with the right blend of flexibility for movement, and strength for structural support.

This ensures that the product is comfortable for you to wear, and is able to deliver the type of support needed for treatment.

MASS4D® Insoles can make a great addition to rehabilitative programmes for bunions. Click on the link below and start treatment for your bunions today.


Foot Pain Relief, Injury Prevention, Better Posture and Sports Performance in One Insole     know more


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