Bunion Orthotics | Orthotics for Bunions

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What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a prominence on the inner side of the foot at the base of the big toe. The bunion usually forms because of a with the alignment of the bones of the forefoot. This causes pressure and prominence of the base of the big toe. Irritation of the soft tissues surrounding this part of the foot causes further swelling and pain.

What causes a Bunion?

Tight-fitting shoes are thought to be the cause of bunions in most patients. Shoes such as high heels are particularly damaging to the toes. These shoes have a sloping foot bed and a narrow toe box. The slope causes the front of the foot to be pushed with force into the narrow toe box, causing the toes to become squeezed together. Depending on factors such as duration of wearing constraining footwear, skeletal maturity, and individual factors, the toes can become adapted to the new position and lead to the deformity we know as a bunion. Footwear is not the only cause of a bunion. Genetics do play a significant role, and people who have bunions in the family are also much more likely to have bunion than people who do not. Injuries to the foot can also be a factor in developing a bunion. Many people who have a bunion have a combination of factors that makes them susceptible to having this condition. For example, women over the age of forty who have a family history of bunions, and often wear high-heeled shoes, would be considered likely to develop a bunion.

How can orthotics help?

Orthotics can slow or halt the progression of bunions by addressing the instability which causes the deformity, often providing complete symptomatic relief. However orthotics cannot reduce the pre-existing bony deformity.