What Are Bunions?
A bunion is a bony bump at the base of the big toe that can often be painful. A bunion can form when your big toe leans slightly toward your other toes. Over time, the base of your big toe pushes outward against the first metatarsal bone, which is directly behind it.
Bunions form at the joint where your toe bends when you walk. When you have a bunion, all of your body weight rests on it each time you take a step.
Take a look at your feet. See where the bottom of your big toe connects to your foot? If you see a bony bump there with your big toe leaning in the opposite direction, you probably have a bunion. Other symptoms of a bunion include:
- Tenderness when you touch it
- Pain that is constant or may come and go
- Limited movement of the joint or toe
- Corns or calluses
A bunion may also become shiny and feel warm when you touch it.
Bunion Causes and Risk Factors
Foot problems typically start in early adulthood. As we age the problems tend to get worse.
Factors that may contribute to bunions include:
- Bunions can run in the family.
- Weak or poor foot structure can lead to bunions.
- If one of your legs is longer than the other, you may develop a bunion on the big toe of the longer leg.
- Your liklihood of bunions increases if you have inflammatory types of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis.
- If you frequently wear high heels or tight shoes you may be more likely to develop a bunion.