Health and MedicineDiseasesWhat are bunions, why they appear and how to avoid them?

What are bunions, why they appear and how to avoid them?

Bunions are a common foot condition that affects many people. What are its causes and what to do to avoid them? Knowing it is useful to prevent its appearance.

Whenever the weather is good, and that, for example, the increase in temperatures (with the consequent and evident increase in heat) encourages us to walk through the streets or go to the beach or the pool, there is no doubt that both sandals and flip-flops They become one of the footwear of choice, for their comfort, their ease of use, and above all because they help our feet not to sweat excessively when it is already quite hot.

But its excessive use can have a consequence: cause the appearance of those known as  bunions. In addition, by the way, other common consequences such as pain in the heels and arch of the foot, sprains and increased risk of having an accident (going up or down stairs, tripping or getting caught ).

In the particular case of bunions, it is true that their cause is not only caused by the inappropriate or excessive use of sandals. There are also other related causes, since it is not the only one.

What are bunions?

Basically we could define the bunion as the enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe, which occurs when the tissue or bone of the big toe joint is displaced.

As a consequence, this displacement forces the toe to bend towards the others, creating the most common symptom or sign: a kind of lump of bone in the foot, which often tends to be quite painful. That is, the deviation of the big toe increases when it rests on the second toe. Regarding the lump that appears, it is common for it to become inflamed and red.

At this point we find what is known as Hallux Valgus, a deviation of the first metatarsal of the big toe caused by the existence of a deformation of this bone as a result of different causes. As we indicated, it is precisely this deviation of the Hallux Valgus that causes the bunion to form.

Why do they appear? What causes deviation of the big toe?

As we mentioned at the beginning of this note, the truth is that there are several causes that can cause the appearance of a bunion. Believe it or not, genetics greatly influences this, since certain hereditary factors seem to influence the existence of a defect in the mechanical structure of the foot. But we do not inherit the bunion itself, but the way of walking that in turn causes the appearance of Hallux Valgus.

In addition to this main cause, there are others that we will comment on below:

  • Inadequate use of footwear: either by the use of sandals or high-heeled shoes both tend to press the fingers inside the shoe, limiting the movement of the fingers.
  • Age: the older you are, the greater the chances of suffering from bunions, especially after 40 years of age.
  • Diseases and conditions of the foot: as is the case, for example, with arched feet or flat feet.
  • Other diseases: as occurs with rheumatoid arthritis, which deforms the bones.
  • Egyptian foot: it consists of a type of foot in which the big toe is longer than the rest of the fingers.

How to prevent its appearance?

Although it is true that both age and genetics tend to be two related causes that obviously cannot be avoided, it is true that they are actually two non-direct causes, but rather they influence together with other related causes.

Thus, for example, if you have a certain hereditary factor and therefore have a greater predisposition to suffer from bunions (for example, your mother or grandmother has them), if you also wear inappropriate footwear, it is more than evident that you have all the ballots for them to form.

Therefore, the use of suitable shoes that fit well to the foot and are comfortable is essential. In the case of using sandals and flip flops, it is best not to use them for many hours at a time.


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