Bunion is a condition where the top of the big toe shifts towards the inside of your foot. A swelling may develop around the big toe making walking challenging and painful. Read on to explore risk factors, complications, and bunions Bakersfield management.
Bunions causes and risk factors
Genetics and foot deformities
Your genes are the leading risk factor for bunions. Deformities like the Egyptian foot, where the big toe is proportionately longer, are hereditary and may strain the joints and ligaments. The long toe may force you to adjust your feet’s position when walking or wearing certain types of shoes.
Another genetic deformity that can increase the risk of bunions is foot hyperlaxity. Also known as ligamentous laxity, the condition is characterized by the laxity of joint ligaments. Hyperlaxity is accompanied by hypermobility, where joints shift beyond their normal range.
Hypermobility and ligamentous laxity are hereditary. Typically, these conditions do not present symptoms in the initial phases. However, foot problems can develop gradually due to hypermobility and laxity.
Joints can slide out of the confines of ligaments, increasing the risk of painful injuries. Women and people over 40 are more susceptible to foot hyperlaxity and hypermobility.
Flat foot is another deformity that has a correlation with hallux valgus. It forces the metatarsal, the bones behind the toes, and the ligaments to stretch out of range.
Inflammation may develop around the joint, causing swelling and pain. The type and fit of the shoe can worsen bunion symptoms for people with flat feet or hypermobility.
Relationship between obesity and hallux valgus
Research indicates bunions are prevalent amongst overweight adults. When walking or jogging, the foot rolls inwards to minimize the shock in a process known as pronation.
Obesity is often responsible for excessive foot pronation, which pushes the toe sideways, causing pain. Eventually, inflammation develops around the toe, leading to swelling and bunions.
Obesity can also increase the risk of injuries, which may be the source of the hallux valgus. Studies show people with a BMI over 35 are more susceptible to foot and ankle problems.
Additionally, excess weight may lead to diabetes, which impacts inflammation and wound healing. The frequency of sores, infections, and bruises increases with age, especially for diabetic patients.
In turn, bunions may also make you susceptible to obesity and cardiovascular conditions. The loss of foot function makes patients more inactive, which affects their health. However, you can manage symptoms by adjusting your diet.
Bunions and arthritis
Bunions are common in people with arthritis. Conditions like osteoarthritis may cause small bone fragments to break off and escape into the joint. The body heightens its immune response, which leads to inflammation around the toe.
But rheumatoid arthritis is more often associated with bunions. It is a condition where the immune system attacks healthy tissue. Rheumatoid arthritis weakens muscles and tendons, which deforms the joint, forcing you to adjust your gait.
The complications arising from rheumatoid arthritis are more challenging to address using conventional treatment methods. A surgical procedure is often necessary to treat the bunions.
Contact Diabetic Foot and Wound Center to book your consultation today.