Bunions also known as hallux valgus are bony bumps that form on the joint, usually on the base of the big toe and or the base of the little toe. In addition to the bump on the side of the foot, the toe deviates towards the midline of the second toe. Bunions can become red, stiff, irritated and painful. In order to treat bunions, it is important to understand the underlying mechanics casing the bunion formation.
Bunions are the result of biomechanical overloading and insufficient support. Excessive pronation (rolling in), ankle equinus (calf tightness) and restriction in the big toe joint are all examples of complex biomechanical changes that will put additional strain on the forefoot and increase the size of the bunion if not properly addressed. Bunions can also be due to genetics, auto- immune conditions and or trauma to the feet. Inappropriate footwear such as heels, ballet flats and other narrow dress shoes that put greater strain on the forefoot are also large contributing factors. Bunions are more commonly seen in women and the elderly population but can be seen in men too.
At Coburg Podiatry, treatment for bunions focuses on correcting muscle imbalances around the big toe that contribute to the drifting toe. Exercises, splints, footwear stretching and advice plus suitable arch support can limit the progression of hallux valgus but also manage your pain. Call Coburg Podiatry for a gait analysis and assessment.