A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a progressive foot disorder in which the big toe points inwards towards the other toes, forcing one of the metatarsal bones to protrude outwards. Bunions can cause pain, inflammation, stiffness, and swelling of the big toe joint, which can affect your day-to-day functions – making simple chores, such as cooking, shopping, and walking the dog, unpleasant.
In many cases, the misalignment of the bone is due to a genetic predisposition; however, many other factors can contribute to the development of bunions such as obesity, flat feet, and tight shoes. Today, Dr. Joseph C. Stuto, Dr. Joseph A. Stuto, Dr. Lisa Fuchs, and Dr. Momna Younas at Stuto Foot Specialist Podiatry share some of the habits you need to do away with to stop your bunions from getting worse.
- Wearing tight-fitted and pointy shoes
Tight and pointy shoes can squeeze the foot and make your bunions worse. The exerted pressure from tight footwear can crowd your toes together, causing the big toe to move inwards and the bone at the base of your big toe to protrude outwards. Avoid high heels as they can force your feet into an unnatural position, causing additional stress on the ball of the foot and aggravate your bunion. You may want to switch to low heel shoes that are no more than 2 inches high. Wearing the right shoes can help you keep optimal foot health.
- Wearing shoes without good arch support
Arch support is essential! Shoes without arch support can cause painful foot conditions such as bunions, collapsed arches, or plantar fasciitis. A shoe with good arch support helps redistribute pressure across your feet evenly, correct your posture, and add comfort to your movement. Limit your use of flip-flops and shoes with a flat bottom.
- Playing sports that involve repetitive movements
The repetitive motions or the sudden/forceful flexing of the big toe during sports can worsen your bunion. If you already have a bunion, opt for sport or exercise that is joint- and toe-friendly.
If your bunion is causing chronic pain or interrupts your quality of life, contact Dr. Stuto's Brooklyn office at (718) 624-7537 today to schedule an appointment. Our team offers several treatment options, including orthotics. Feel free to browse through our patient library for more information on podiatry related topics.