Bunions are painful bone deformities in the big toe. When the toe is misaligned, the joint in the toe grows larger, creating a protuberance over time. These lumps can cause constant pain from rubbing against shoes, which in turn, irritates the joint resulting in a large bump.
If treated early, bunions can be corrected. If you suspect a bunion forming, seek medical advice as soon as possible. If left untreated, the big toe can begin to grow sideways into other toes (hammertoe), causing more problems and discomfort.
Since bunions are a bone deformity, they will not heal by themselves. Treatments include adding protective padding to shoes, removing calluses, wearing custom fitted shoes, orthotic devices to slowly correct alignment, exercises, and splints.
Depending on the size of the bunion and pain caused, surgery may be prescribed to remove the bunion.
Hammertoe is a condition where the second, third, or fourth toe, is bent at the middle joint, overlapping the toe(s) next to it. It is caused by improperly fitting shoes and problems with the toe muscles.
Those with hammertoe often have corns or calluses on the middle or tips of their toes. It is usually difficult to find properly fitted shoes due to deformity.
Treatments include wearing softer, properly fitted shoes, physical therapy exercises, straps, cushions, and corn pads.
In severe cases, surgery may be required to reposition the toe(s).