Regular checkups by your primary care physician, eating a well-balanced and nutritional diet, and exercising are all important steps for your health and wellness. Unfortunately, you may still develop conditions that cause pain and immobility while living a somewhat healthy lifestyle. Most people do not place much emphasis on the health of their feet, but proper understanding can help you walk, run, and stand in a comfortable and effective manner.
Bunions may not seem all that interesting, but they can wreak havoc on your physical and emotional health. With an estimated 23 to 35 percent of the population suffering from bunions, you may be affected by these odd bumps on the joint of the big toe. To get your foot in the door to better health, here are a few interesting facts about bunions.
They are Misalignments, Not Growths
One common misconception people have is that bunions are growths on the bones of the toe. While the bump on the toe joint may look and feel like a growth, the bunion is actually a misalignment of the metatarsal phalangeal, or the big toe.
When the joint of the big toe becomes misaligned, from excess contact between your shoes and the toe or inflammation from arthritis, the bone at the base of the big toe will jut out. This creates a bony knob on the foot that many people believe is a growth.
There are Endless Causes
You may be surprised to learn that bunions are caused by a variety of things. Basically, if you wear shoes, you are at risk of misaligned bones in the toes. If these shoes are too small or too narrow, the risk of developing a bunion is greater because the shoes are placing excess pressure on your toes.
Certain conditions that cause your joints to swell, such as rheumatoid arthritis, also increase your risk of bunions.
In addition to pressure on the toe and arthritis, bunions are also genetic. If a close family member has suffered from bunions, you are also likely to develop these misalignments.
Treatment Is Actually Necessary
If you have one or more bunions, you may struggle with the appearance of your feet. In many cases, bunions do not cause any pain, so you may think treatment is not necessary since they affect the look of your feet only. Unfortunately, this is not true because bunions will become worse over time if they are not treated.
Bunions will become larger, eventually causing pain if they are not uncomfortable in the early stage. In some instances, they can become so large, the foot will look deformed. This will not only be painful, but it will also decrease your ability to walk or wear shoes comfortably.
Surgery Is Not Your Only Option
Last, but not least, it is important to know that you have many options for bunion treatments. While surgery is an effective solution if your big toe is severely misaligned or deformed, non-invasive treatments are available for minor bunions.
For many people, treating a bunion will require switching shoes. You may need to have your feet professionally measured to ensure you buy an appropriate size and width of shoe.
Applying ice is also beneficial if you are living with bunion discomfort. Ice will not only numb the pain, but it will also promote blood circulation, which decreases inflammation and swelling in your toes.
A podiatrist can also fit your big toe with special padding, which protects the joint of the big toe. Padding can be worn with and without shoes, creating pressure between the shoes and your big toe. Over time, this can help the bones of your big toe align back into a more normal position.
Bunions may be one of the least interesting conditions in the world of health, but learning a few facts about these misalignments will make them a bit more interesting. If you have a bunion, consult your doctor today to learn about the best options for treatment.
I am one of those people who hates going to the doctor. In the past, I have relied on everything from cranberry juice to apple cider vinegar to fix my ails. As I get older though, I find that I need to rely more on traditional medicine than I did in the past. What I found out from my doctor is that I did not have to give up the holistic medicines I used. I could combine them. This blog is designed to help others focus on how to combing holistic treatments with traditional medicine in a safe and fun way.