Who's to Blame for Your Bunion Pain?

Posted by Dr. Brian Nagy on December 29, 2017

strand of DNAIf you're suffering from a painful bony bump on the side of your toe, you might have a bunion. Additional symptoms include swelling, redness, restricted movement of your toe, corns, and calluses. Perhaps you're experiencing bunion pain for the first time, but it's possible that you're prone to getting bunions on a recurring basis. If your bunions keep coming back, there could be a genetic component involved. In fact, bunions are often hereditary -  sort of. 

Who's to Blame for Your Bunion Pain?

It's not actually bunions themselves that are hereditary. Rather, it's the type and structure of the foot that is passed down from generation to generation. Poor development of the foot due to genetics causes pressure and imbalance that in turn lead to bunions. However, there can be many factors behind your problem with bunions.

Just because Grandma Betty has had a permanent bunion problem ever since you can remember, that doesn't mean you will get bunions and/or keep them for life, too. If you inherit the same type of foot mechanics Grandma Betty was born with you will be predisposed to getting bunions, but there are certain factors that make it more likely you will suffer from bunion pain. 

What Causes Bunions to Develop or Worsen?

Whether you've inherited a problematic foot type or not, there are several things that cause or exacerbate bunions:

  • Ill-fitting shoes with pointy toes, short toe boxes, or heels over two inches high can cause bunions. 

  • Repetitive pressure such as that applied while running or when standing for long periods of time can lead to bunions.

  • Misaligned feet can lead to bunions, hammertoes, and other painful foot conditions.
     
  • Injury to the foot and ankle including sprains, torn ligaments, and having dropped something on your foot may cause you to develop bunions or make existing bunions even more painful.

  • Health issues such as diabetic neuropathy, gout, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and arthritis are chronic conditions that commonly cause foot pain and bunions. As the condition worsens, so does the foot and/or bunion pain.
     
  • Untreated foot conditions or mild bunions you simply hope will get better on their own can lead to worsening bunions. Left untreated, bunions may even require surgical intervention.

Can You Prevent Bunions Altogether?

If you've inherited the same problematic foot mechanics that Grandma Betty does then yes, you are at risk for getting bunions. However, you don't have to suffer from lifelong  pain as she perhaps has. There are steps you can take to reduce your vulnerability when it comes to developing bunions and bunionettes.

  • Wear shoes that fit well, provide enough support, and are activity-appropriate.

  • See your doctor about chronic health conditions and your New Hampshire podiatrist about any problems with your feet.

  • Get regular check-ups to stay on top of foot and health problems before they reach an unmanageable stage.

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.

  • Beware that you could be mistaking a bunion for a different foot problem such as arthritis, a ganglion cyst, gout, or bursitis.

See your New Hampshire podiatrist as soon as possible if you are experiencing any foot pain. 

At Nagy Footcare, we believe you shouldn't have to suffer from bunions or any other foot problem. We believe you deserve to be listened to, and are entitled to a proper diagnosis and the best treatment options available. That's why our practice works together to achieve uncompromising excellence when it comes to patient care.

We are committed to earning your trust; providing a professional, respectful, and compassionate environment; delivering the right treatment plan that offers the fastest results appropriate for your foot problem; and to exceeding your expectations.

Whether your painful bunions developed because of Grandma or your own foot problem, a New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare wants to help you. Contact us for a consultation if you are suffering from bunion pain or have any questions about your feet. At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.  

 10 Common Causes of Foot Pain eBook

Topics: Bunions

We are committed to providing educational information because, at Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.

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