6 Common Bunion Symptoms, Prevalence & Treatment
Symptoms caused by the foot bunion mostly ends up in limiting the regular activity of foot. It may include severe pain around the major toe and a bump on the medial aspect of a big toe joint.
It is also known as hallux valgue or tailors bunion as it is mostly found in tailors. The cause of this deformity is the bones of big toes that sometimes loses their alignment and shifts out of positions due to constant pressure. As it is caused by constant pressure on bones & ligaments of a big toe, its occurs slowly, and if not treated properly then it ends up forming a small lump on the big toe.
Today we will see the basic foot bunion symptoms and the things we can do to treat it effectively.
Common Symptoms of Bunion
Though there is a wide variety of symptoms that can be found in the foot bunion, here are six the most common bunion symptoms that almost every patient experiences.
Lump on Medial Side of Big Toe
Bony lump on the inner side of big toe joint is the most common and classic sign of bunion. This lump develops at the base of the big toe and grows slowly over the period of few weeks and is caused by altered alignments of joint bones due to constant pressure.
If left untreated, it may keep increasing in size.
Initially, pain is mild in nature, but as condition progress, pain also increases in terms of severity. Walking, standing for a long time or running may trigger pain and movements of big toes are often end up increasing the pain. Pain are usually localized around the area of base joint of the big toe of foot and in some cases, may refer to the ball of the foot. Pain can be continuous or just come and go with movements of a toe.
Altered Foot & Toe Shape
Because of increasing size of bony lump at the base of joint, toe starts to move laterally towards the rest of toes of the foot. In severe cases, shifting of big toe towards the next lateral toe; may end up causing cross over or under this toe. This unique position of the big toe is called as hallux abducto valgus and the size of a foot may start to widen.
As bunion grow, redness may start to appear because of friction of skin against the wall of the shoe.
Redness is one of the early signs of inflammation in our body, and during the development of bunion, one may notice it in initial stages even before lump grows up.
Stiffness of Big Toe
Stiffness in joints of the big toe is a common symptom of a bunion. The patient may not be able to move the big toe quickly, and movements are restricted to the great extent, especially while walking. When we walk, we push up our foot through the joint of big toes and this become difficult & painful in case of a bunion. It has been observed that in some cases this stiffness may lead to arthritis of joint.
Hardening of Skin
Sometimes skin over the bunion may start to become thick and harden to form a callus. It usually resulted in friction of skin over the bunion with edges of the shoe. Once the friction starts, skin tries to protect itself and underlying tissues by hardening & forming a callus. Though callus seems like a pathological growth, most of the time it is painless & can be treated easily using callus remover tools or gel.
It is found that women are more prone to get affected by bunion than men. The reason is obvious – using high heels make them prone to multiple foot stress. Usually, high heels comes with narrow space that put extra pressure on foot bones as well as extra height of heel creates lot of stress at foot and knee joints.
Aging can also play a role in causing bunion as people above age of 65 are more prone to get symptoms of bunions.
Bunion symptoms can be reduced by taking right treatment. Simple lifestyle change like replacing your narrow footwear with wider and comfortable footwear can bring the drastic change in symptoms of a bunion.
Pain will reduce immediately, and progress of bunion will halt to some extent. One can also use the specifically designed pads & splints for bunion sufferers.
But, if using comfortable shoes, splints (like toe separators) and taking rest do not help, then you need to visit a surgeon to see if you need surgery or not.
Featured Image – Photo from Flickr courtesy of Badly Drawn Dad