Bunions – painful, bony bumps found at the base of the big toe – can negatively impact every moment of your day. Caused by joint misalignment, these bumps can hinder walking and exercising, make shoe shopping difficult, and can lower your quality of life. Although bunions are a fairly common foot deformity, many people needlessly suffer for years before seeking treatment.
Part of tackling bunions before they become a problem is to take proper care of your feet – and to know thy enemy. Read up on some interesting bunion facts below – your feet will thank you:
Blame Your Parents
That’s right – bunions tend to be a hereditary issue. Foot type, including their shape and structure, is hereditary, and some types are more prone to bunions, including those with low arches, flat feet, and loose joints and tendons. If someone in your immediate family suffers from bunions, you have a higher chance of developing them at some point.
They’re More Prevalent in Women
Several studies have shown that women are much more likely to develop bunions than men. In fact, 1 in every 3 women will experience bunions at some point in her life. Why? A few factors may contribute to this problem, including shoe choices and arthritic conditions, which can exacerbate bunions.
If the Shoe (Doesn’t) Fit
Speaking of shoe choices, tight-fitting shoes with narrow toe boxes or high heels are thought to increase your risk for bunions. According to a study by the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, 88% of women are wearing shoes that are too small, which can increase your odds of developing bunions. Your foot size should change as you age, so make sure you check your shoe size before buying any new kicks.
A Little Care Goes a Long Way
Bunions develop slowly, so take some crucial steps now to keep your feet happy and healthy. Choose low- or flat-heeled shoes with a roomy toe box and good arch support. Avoid high heels and pointed shoes, which cramp and pinch the toes. Stretch out your feet every day to reduce tension as well.
See Your Podiatrist Sooner Rather Than Later
We recommend seeing your foot doctor at the first sign of a bunion. Unfortunately, bunions will get worse without treatment, but early treatment can help reduce your risk of experiencing more pain or extensive interventions in the future.
Suffering from bunion pain? Don’t wait! Make an appointment with the friendly doctors at Foot & Ankle Center by calling (314) 487-9300.