One of the more painful conditions to affect our feet are bunions. Women are more prone to this problem than men.
A bunion is a swelling, usually over the joint between the big toe and the rest of the foot. The big toe is usually bent towards the other toes, making a sharp angle between it and the first metatarsal — the long bone of the foot. This creates a pressure point when shoes are worn, producing the painful, red swelling known as a bunion.
Although wearing shoes that are too tight used to be blamed as the cause of bunions, it is possible that other factors such as a family tendency to bunions, developmental abnormalities of the foot and arthritis of the foot play a part.
There are various ways of treating bunions, which are usually painful only when shoes are worn. Shoes that are wide enough to avoid pressure on the bunion are a first step. Protective bunion pads and sleeves will also help.
For more severe cases surgery is often necessary. Several different operations have been used to treat bunions. These include simply ‘shaving’ excess bone, removing the end of one of the bones.