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Kathy asked...

How do I take care of a bunion?

I was visiting my cousin when I took my shoes off to relax. She looked at the side of my big toe and said it looks like I have a bunion starting. I looked it up on the internet and I do have the classic symptoms. What I would like to know is if I start using round toe shoes and take care of the bunion, will it halt the process?

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The answer

Bunions (hallux valgus) are a bone deformity that can occur at the base of the big toe.  Women are more prone to bunions than men. The clearest symptom of a bunion is that your big toe points to  your other toes but other symptoms include pain and a swelling  over the big toe joint.

In answer to your question, bunions can run in families and their exact cause is not known.  Sometimes children can develop bunions.  If the previously mentioned  risk factors  are not present for you, then you  should avoid shoe wear that has high heels, shoes that  have a ‘pointy’ style to them and tight fitting shoes.  These factors in shoe wear design are also  associated with bunion development and they certainly  make the symptoms of the condition worse.  You will not be able to cure the ‘deformity’  in the bone that that already exists and it may not be possible to prevent the condition  from getting worse. 

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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