Put Spring in your Step
With spring in the air, you want to be heading outdoors with some extra bounce in your step; but, if you have bunions, that might not be possible. Bunions can and do affect quality of life in more ways than one.
What is a bunion?
Bunion is the layman’s term for hallux abducto valgus. It appears when the big toe deviates towards the second toe. Once this starts to happen, the muscles which are attached to the toe by tendons have a bow-string effect on the toe meaning that without intervention, the toe will be pulled even further out of line. The bump which sticks out at the base of the toe is what is often called a bunion; the word, “bunion”, originates from the early 18th century French word, “buigne” meaning bump on the head!
Who is at risk?
Contrary to popular belief, bunions are not caused by ill-fitting footwear; the tendency to get bunions is an inherited characteristic which can be exacerbated by high-heeled, narrow or pointed shoes. According to a literature review reported in 2010 by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 23 per cent of adults aged 18-65 years have bunions, rising to 35.7 per cent in people over 65. The prevalence is higher in females (30 per cent) than males (13 per cent). Newer studies show an increased incidence and show that pains experienced in other parts of the body increase with increasing severity of the bunions.
How to put that spring in your step
If bunions are in your family, take preventative measures like wearing shoes with a low heel and adequate room in the toe box. Consult a podiatrist like Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M. in Toronto to be assessed for prescription orthotics which may stabilize your feet sufficiently to prevent bunion progression. Learn how to do preventative stretches.
If you reach a point where your bunion pain makes everyday activities unbearable, talk to your podiatrist about minimally invasive surgery. This may be the best solution to put that spring back in your step.