Bunions are painful, unwanted and embarrassing to look at. While women are more likely to develop bunions more than their male counterparts everyone deserves to know a few things to help prevent their risk of developing bunions. Every now and then we treat patients who did everything in their power to prevent bunions (Hallux valgus) on the greater toe region of the foot. The worst part is dealing with the pain and the simple solution is undergoing pain free bunion surgery. You should still take preventive measures and understand your risk of developing bunions.
What Causes Bunions?
Many people believe the reason behind their bunions is from wearing high heels. Wearing improper shoes can influence pain and swelling of bunions but they are not a direct cause for bunions, including high heels. Research shows that bunion symptoms occur predominantly in women than men nearly 10 times more frequently. Not every woman is doomed but genetic factors such as overpronation, abnormal biomechanics, foot trauma (sprains and fractures) and muscle imbalance are all found to have a connection in bunion development.
Risk Factors of Bunions
Most of us know by now that wearing high heel shoes leads to many forms of discomfort but they are not the leading cause of bunions. However, they do increase your risk of bunions since there is a much more narrow toe box than other shoes and increased pressure on the front of the foot pushes toe joints out of alignment with constant use. Aside from ill-fitting shoes, here are some of the common risk factors that may lead to developing bunions:
This refers to the foot leaning too far inward during normal function. When a foot overpronates the person’s body weight is concentrated toward the middle, so the weight passes through the joint of the big toe during overpronation, leading to bunion formation.
Foot injuries are bound to occur especially for athletes. If there are pre-existing foot or ankle sprains, fractures and loose ligaments then bunions may develop from one of these ailments.
It is quite common to treat patients with inherited foot disorders. A person’s genetics is a known risk factor for bunion formation. Studies show that bunions were inherited in approximately four out of ten cases.
Generally people who work in environments that demand a lot of walking and standing are more susceptible to bunions. Therefore, bunions are common in people who work in retail, healthcare, food industry, teaching, dancing and delivery services.
There are a number of risk factors that lead to painful bunions. However, not everyone pays attention to the signs of foot pain. According to research from the American Podiatric Medical Association about 72 percent of Americans say that foot pain affects their daily lifestyle, but only 22 percent with foot pain consult with a podiatrist. The key to decreasing your risk of bunions is to become familiar with your risk factors. If you feel constant pain in your feet, especially in the big toe joints schedule a consultation and learn about your risk of bunions