Many patients will try anything to relieve bunion pain. Medications, creams, orthotics—anything that will allow them to return to their daily activities quickly will be used over and over in the hopes of kicking that annoying foot pain for good. But what really works? 

At HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates, we help our patients understand the causes of bunions to get to the root of their foot ailment. Bunions, which come from the Latin bunio or “enlargement,” are masses of bone and tissue that surround the big toe joint. 

The joint under the big toe is one of the most complex and critical points in the foot. It is where the bones, ligaments, and tendons combine to absorb impact and distribute the body's weight. If the joint is overly stressed for an extended period of time, a bunion may form, inhibiting your ability to bear weight and move normally.

Here are a few things that affect a person’s chance of getting a bunion at some point in their lives:

  • Wearing high heels puts pressure on the big toe joint, but also forces the foot into a pointed position—a prime way for bunions to develop. Sometimes minor bunions, or bunionettes, also form on the outside of the foot on the pinky toe joint.
  • Arthritis causes cartilage to wear away, leaving the joint inflexible and unprotected against impact. In this state, a bunion may form to protect the joint, causing pain and pressure as the person walks or stands.
  • Foot type can influence whether or not a person will suffer bunions. While bunions are not hereditary, the shape of your foot is influenced by your genetics; if your foot is deformed or you suffer from flat feet, you are more likely to develop a bunion than people with high arches.

To find out how our Phoenixville podiatrists can help relieve your pain and stop your bunion from coming back, call us today for a consultation in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644. You can also click the link on this page to receive a FREE copy of our informational guide, The Foot is Not an Island: Recognizing Vitamin D Deficiency & How to Correct It.