If you have bony enlargements of the big toes more than likely you have bunions.
A bunion (Hallux Valgus) forces the big toe to angle toward the other toes. In doing this, significant discomfort and pain in the foot can occur. Bunions do not happen overnight.
Slowly over the years bunions form due to several different causes. Poor fitting shoes, family history, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, weak ligaments in the feet and trauma or injury to the feet are some of the reasons that a bunion will form.
Poor fitting shoes are the most common cause of bunions. If your shoes do not fit properly and are too tight this can cause the foot to change foot motion and put pressure on the foot and toes.
Wearing high heel or narrow shoes can also cause bunions. These type of shoes put pressure on the toe joint which may cause the toe to angle towards the other toes, in turn causing a bunion.
If you have a family history of neuromuscular conditions you could be more prone to developing bunions.
Rheumatoid arthritis is another cause for developing bunions. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks normal tissue components. The inflammation from rheumatoid arthritis mainly attacks the lining in joints usually targeting the hand and feet.
Osteoarthritis can also be a cause of bunions. Osteoarthritis is caused by injury to or wear and tear of the joints over the years.
There are several different symptoms for bunions. One of the symptoms for bunions is redness and swelling around the big toe joint. Another symptoms of bunions is pain along the inside margin of the foot. This is usually alleviated when resting. Some other symptoms of bunions are pain when wearing tight shoes, feet that are too wide to fit into their normal shoes or a second toe that becomes a hammer toe.
There are many different treatment options for bunions. Wearing properly fitting shoes is a more permanent treatment that will help the bunions go away. Ibuprofen or cortisone injections can be used to temporarily treat the pain and inflammation. To help reduce the size of the bunion there are commercial pads and night splints available as well. In severe cases surgery may be required to treat the bunion. This surgery is known as a Bunionectomy.
If you think that you have bunions it is important to seek treatment from you medical doctor. Without treatment the condition can become worse and the deformity eventually becomes disabling.