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Prevent bunions in 4 steps

Updated on 9 July 2024

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The bunion, or hallux valgus, is a problem that is more common in women, manifesting as a deviation and deformation of the big toe.

This deformation of the foot can cause pain and difficulty in comfortably wearing shoes over time.

While the bunion can begin as nothing more than a cosmetic problem, it may eventually require serious treatment and even surgery.

Today, we offer you 4 steps to prevent it from getting that far.

1. Be mindful of the symptoms

The hallux valgus is a problem that gets worse with time. It is thus important to pay attention to the early symptoms that set it apart from other conditions.

The bunion’s symptoms include:

  • Redness near the big toe;
  • Significant swelling;
  • A deviation of the joint forming a lump at the base of the big toe;
  • Painful stiff joints when the toe is straight;
  • A change in the alignment of the adjacent hammertoes;
  • The appearance of corns or calluses;
  • Bursitis on the side of the foot, at the base of the big toe;
  • Recurring ingrown nails;
  • Difficulty wearing shoes or increased friction when walking.

Such symptoms may hint at the presence or the impending development of hallux valgus.
By catching them early on, you will be able to quickly contact a podiatrist for appropriate treatment.

2. Getting the right footwear

Obviously, comfort should be one of the most important features of any shoe.

However, due to the fact that the bunion changes the dimensions of the foot, the shoes that once fit you well, may no longer suit you.

Usually, shoes that meet the following requirements are more suitable if you are at risk of developing hallux valgus:

  • They have wide ends that leave enough room for the toes;
  • They have relatively little slope;
  • They provide good heel support;
  • They suit your foot type, whether it is flat, metatarsal or cavus.

As you can see, it is not recommended to wear shoes with pointed toes.

While high heels are not directly responsible for bunions, they can contribute to making them worse.

3. Choosing orthotic insoles

If you can’t part with high-heeled shoes because of your job, everything is not lost yet!

In fact, there are many alternatives that will allow you to wear them while minimizing the development of bunions.

Here are some options that can help:

  • Orthopedic heel pads;
  • A corrective splint;
  • Toe separators;
  • Orthopedic sandals.

On top of these corrective devices, you can also opt for personalized foot orthoses.
In fact, if your feet are flat and cause excessive pronation, your podiatrist will recommend you to wear foot orthoses more often.

4. Consult a podiatrist

While it is not always necessary, consulting a podiatrist at a clinic can help you determine the cause of a possible bunion.

They may also be able to provide you with comprehensive treatment if you already have a big toe bunion.

The methods used to treat hallux valgus are:

In more severe cases, your podiatrist may consider the surgical removal of the bunion followed by physical therapy.

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