Bunions are a very common problem for older people, but they also affect a general part of the younger population. A study determined that over 23% of people aged 18 to 65, as well as 36% of people older than 65, had bunions. It’s more common than you think, and it can bring serious consequences to your body and be a painful experience throughout your life.
There are many reasons you may get bunions and many solutions for your pain if you already have them. Here’s everything you need to know about bunions.
9. What Are Bunions?
Bunions are a common foot disorder or malformation that occurs at the base of the big toe. Bunions occur in your foot joints and create a lump on the side that forms over a long period of time. Bunions can grow big enough to angle your big toe inwards, causing it to be on top of the other toe and creating other issues on your foot.
Bunions can be painful, and, depending on their size, they can affect your everyday life and even make it difficult—and painful—to do physical activities or wear shoes or any type of footwear.
8. What Causes Bunions?
Many things can help to cause bunions over your life. First, your footwear. If you’re wearing shoes that are too tight constantly, that might help create bunions. You should avoid using tight shoes, high heels, and pointy, narrow shoes to avoid forming bunions or to alleviate the pain from them if you already have them.
Dr. Houman Danesh, director of integrative pain management at Mount Sinai Hospital, says a muscle imbalance might cause you to walk in a way that forms bunions.
“If [a muscle] is too weak or too tight and that pulls your leg out of alignment, your natural gait can become slightly off,” says Danesh. “The next thing you know, you keep doing it and pushing off [the inside of your foot], where the bunion is forming, rather than the tip of the toe.”
Sadly, genetics is also a big reason for bunions. Even if you don’t wear any tight footwear, it’s possible that you get bunions because of your family. If your parents or grandparents have bunions, it’s highly likely that you will too.
Having other foot conditions increase the risk of getting bunions too. If you have a short Achilles tendon, short calf muscles, or joint diseases, you’re more to get bunions.