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Wearing high heels aggravates your bunionsFire eaters, human pin cushions, and tattooed couples were just some of the bodily oddities you could see at the circus in the 1800s and early 1900s. Humans can do some pretty amazing stunts and maneuvers! However, deformities are no laughing matter, which is why they were eventually banned from these traveling shows. If you have pain from a deformity like a bunion, call Dr. Andrew Irvine for some treatment options.

Introducing…“The Painful Bump!”  

This condition is a bony deformity of the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint between the big toe and the first metatarsal bone. Over time, the big toe bone starts to point toward the other toes, which forces the first metatarsal bone to stick out. The medical term for this condition is known as hallux valgus.

Since you use this joint a lot, it can create an immense amount of pain when you try to walk. Symptoms like redness, swelling, pain, and stiffness can occur near the bony bump on the inside of your foot. You may also develop corns or blisters where your toes overlap or underlap. The soreness in the joint can make wearing shoes very difficult.

Foot Structure, Walking Habits, and Shoe Choice

This deformity forms from an unbalanced foot strike. When an imbalance of pressure exists, the joint can be thrown off balance, creating instability, weakness, and ultimately, a deformity. If your foot is imbalanced, you should also be on the look out for the bunion's little cousin, the bunionette.

What causes this imbalance of pressure? Your foot structure, the way you walk, and your shoe choice all contribute to the development of bunions. Foot structure is passed down by your parents. You could have flat feet or low arches that make you more susceptible, as these foot types often create abnormal movement that creates hammertoes and bunions.

The way you walk is often affected by foot injuries and other conditions. If you’re limping from another painful problem, it could put you at risk for getting bunions, too. People with neuromuscular disorders, congenital deformities, arthritis, and inflammation in the joints need to be careful about how they’re walking.

Shoe choice is always a crucial factor in whether you will develop a bunion or not. Shoes that are too narrow, pointy, and tight can squish the feet together and throw the joint off kilter.

Besides these three main factors, you could also get bunions depending on where you work. Ballet dancers, nurses, wait staff, and other people who are on their feet a lot, are more at risk.

Step Right Up for Bunion Treatment!

At-home treatment is an easy way to prevent and treat your bunions before the symptoms get really bad. Avoid high-impact activities that can put a lot of pressure on your big toe. Try swimming and riding your bike. The moment you start to feel pain, invest in a good pair of roomy shoes that have a wide toe box. Avoid high heels and tight shoes. To get rid of your pain at home, try icing the joint for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Bunion pads can also relieve the pressure.

Treating bunions is one of our main specialties at Axis Foot & Ankle Clinic. We offer custom-made inserts and all kinds of useful advice to help you get rid of your pain. Surgery may also be an option if home remedies and other conservative treatments fail. If your foot is so deformed that you feel like you belong in a circus, call the Axis Foot & Ankle Clinic at (403) 477-3338 for an appointment. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! 

Photo Credit: David Castillo Dominici via

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