Understanding the Causes of Bunions
A bunion is a painful bump that develops at the joint of the base of your big toe. It is also possible to develop smaller bunions, known as bunionettes, on the joints of the little toes. These formations can be quite painful and debilitating, and may sometimes require bunion surgery. See a foot doctor promptly if you develop some of the potential signs of bunions, including motion limitation of the big toe, or swelling, redness, or pain in the area.
The root cause of bunions is abnormal pressure in the area. Your feet are under considerable pressure from bearing your weight and facilitating movement. When this pressure is exerted in an uneven manner on the joints of your feet, the joint of the big toe can become destabilized.
Your Houston podiatrist may determine that an abnormal gait is to blame for uneven pressure on your foot that has led to bunions. Your gait is your typical walking pattern. If you have improper foot mechanics, you may be prone to developing bunions. Many people develop bunions because they have a pronated foot, or a foot that rolls excessively toward the outside while walking.
Your foot and ankle specialist may diagnose you with foot abnormalities. Some of the abnormalities that could be the cause of your bunions can include congenital deformities, or deformities that were present at birth, and abnormalities caused by foot injuries. You might also develop bunions as a result of having excessively low arches or flat feet. Sometimes, an underlying medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory types of arthritis could be to blame for bunion development.
Podiatrists treat many patients with bunions who wear improper footwear, such as shoes that are too tight in the toe area. These types of shoes compress the toes together, leading to improper pressure distribution. Foot doctors note that this may be one reason why women in particular are prone to developing bunions. Fashionable shoes such as high heels tend to have a very narrow toe area.