Bunions form when the bone and joint in the big toe shift out of alignment from years of abnormal motion and pressure. They run in families and can be the result of ill-fitting shoes and other medical conditions. Regardless of the cause, without treatment, they will worsen over time. Bunions are more than a cosmetic concern, and pain is only the beginning.
The Lasting Impact of Bunions
As the toe moves out of alignment, the tip of it gradually moves towards the second toe. The joint is pushed out, causing it to protrude and form a bunion. Mild discomfort at first may not warrant a trip to the doctor. But over time, the joint deformity becomes increasingly painful as the bone structure in the foot changes. Your feet may not fit into the same shoes and walking, standing, and running hurts. Without treatment, bunions can lead to other painful conditions such as:
- Bursitis– Bursitis is the inflammation of the fluid-filled pads inside your joint.
- Metatarsalgia– Metatarsalgia is the inflammation of the ball of your foot.
- Arthritis and bone spurs– Arthritis is the wearing away of the cartilage between bones. Bone spurs occur when your body attempts to repair the damage by creating more bone.
- Hammertoe– This condition causes the toes to curve downward like the head of a hammer.
Initially, some relief comes from changing shoe styles to ones that fit better and offer more room and cushion. Anti-inflammatories and other medications can help ease the pain. Other procedures and surgeries may be necessary for more lasting relief.
Pressure to Expand Options
As bunion pain and other symptoms increasingly impact individuals’ lives, the pressure to expand how they are managed by those affected grows too. Volunteers participating in clinical research studies help bring potential new options closer to the patients who need them most. If you have bunion pain, you may benefit from upcoming research studies at Midwest Clinical Research. To learn more, call (937) 424-1050 or visit our website.