A bunion is a big toe deformity in which the toe turns inward toward the other toes. The big toe may become so bent that it presses against the second toe, causing pain.
Bunions can also cause pain in the balls of the feet, and it is more common in women than men and often runs in families. People with this condition often have problems wearing shoes because of the pain.
And the treatment may include wearing shoes, pads, or splints that fit well and do not put pressure on the big toe. However, Surgery is an option for severe bunions that do not respond to these standard bunion treatments.
What causes bunions?
Bunions are usually not painful when they first develop. But over time, they can become painful and make walking and standing difficult.
There are several theories about what causes bunions. One view states that it occurs due to shoes that are too tight or have high heels. Wearing tight, narrow shoes or high heels can put too much pressure on the toes, leading to a bunion. That is why it is more common in women.
Another theory state that it happen due to an imbalance in the muscles and tendons around the big toe. This imbalance may be due to an injury or a problem with how the foot develops in childhood.
Apart from the causes mentioned above, Here are some of the other possible causes of bunions, which include:
- Heredity: Bunions often run in families, so you may be more likely to develop a this condition if your parents or grandparents had one.
- Arthritis: This condition can lead to the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions the bones in the joint, allowing the bones to rub against each other and causing a bunion.
- Injury: An injury to the foot, such as a sprained ankle, can cause bones in the foot to shift out of place.
- Congenital disabilities: Some are born with deformities of the bones in the foot that can lead to bunions later in life.
- Weight: Being overweight can put extra pressure on the feet and lead to bunions.
- Flat feet: This condition causes the feet to roll inward, putting extra pressure on the toes and leading to a toe deformation.
- High arches: High arches can also lead to the feet rolling inward, putting extra pressure on the toes and leading to a bunion.
Is it bad to crack your bunion?
If your bunion is at an early stage, cracking may not cause any pain, but it can lead to further deformity of the toe and worsening of the bunion.
It would be best if you keet in mind that cracking your bunion will not cure it, and it may provide temporary relief from the pain.
Here are some of the advantages of cracking your bunion, which include:
- Some relief from pain: If you have a bunion, you know how much pain it can cause. Cracking it might help to relieve some of that pain.
- Increased mobility: A bunion can make walking and standing difficult for long periods. Cracking your bunion might help improve your mobility.
Similarly, The risks involved are:
- Increased pain: While cracking your bunion may provide some relief from pain, it can also cause increased pain in the short term. This pain can be excruciating, especially if the bone is not correctly aligned.
- Swelling: It can cause swelling and bruising around the affected area.
- Bleeding: There is also a risk of bleeding when you crack your bunion.
- Limited Mobility: Cracking your bunion can limit your mobility, making it difficult to walk or stand for long periods.
- Infection: There is a small risk of infection when you crack your bunion. Chances of infection will increase if the bone is not correctly aligned, which might cause the skin to break open, leading to infection.
- Deterioration: Cracking your bunion can also cause the bunion to deteriorate over time.
- Further deformity: It can also cause the joints to become unstable, which may lead to further deformity, making it difficult to wear specific shoes or even walk.
Overall, there are both advantages and disadvantages to cracking your bunion. You will need to weigh the risks and benefits to decide if it is the right decision for you or not.
How can bunions be prevented?
Bunions are a common foot deformity that can cause significant pain, making it difficult to walk or even stand for long periods. If you are susceptible to bunions, there are several things you can do to slow the progression.
- Wear the right shoes: Shoes that are too tight or have high heels can put unnecessary pressure on your feet and increase your risk of developing bunions. Wear shoes that fit correctly and offer ample support.
- Stretch your feet: Daily foot stretches can help keep your feet flexible and reduce your risk of developing bunions.
- Strengthen your feet: Strong feet are less likely to develop bunions. You can do several exercises to strengthen your feet, such as toe raises and ankle rolls.
- Stay at a healthy weight: Carrying extra weight puts additional stress on your feet and can increase your risk of developing bunions. Therefore try to be in the healthy weight range.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking decreases blood flow to the feet and can make bunions worse.
- Use bunion pads: Bunion pads can help cushion the area around the bunion and reduce pain.
- Soak your feet: Soaking your feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes regularly can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Wear comfortable socks: Wearing too tight socks can irritate the bunion and worsen it. Therefore, choose socks that fit well and do not constrict your feet.
- Use ice: Applying ice to the bunion for 20 minutes several times a day can help reduce pain and inflammation.
A bunion is a deformity of the big toe in which the toe points abnormally towards the second toe. This deformity can be painful and can make it difficult to wear shoes. It generally occurs due to various factors, including genetics, foot structure, and shoes.
Wearing comfortable shoes is often the first line of treatment for bunions, Which helps to relieve pressure on the toe and reduce pain. Wearing toe spacers or pads can also help to reduce pain and pressure. Surgery is sometimes necessary to correct the deformity.
However, cracking your bunion is not advised if your bunion is severe; instead, go with the prevention method we discussed above, which includes stretching your foot, using a bunion pad, using ice, etc.
Lastly, If the bunion is causing you too much pain, make an appointment to see your doctor. They will prescribe medication or discuss surgical options with you.