Caused by weakness of joint at base of big toe and made worse by pointed and high-heeled shoes or collapsed arches; big toe twists inwards over or under first toe (hallux valgus), forcing joint at base of big toe to stick out sideways; with continued friction and pressure, a Callus may develop on side of joint, or joint may be affected by Bursitis, causing pain and swelling and even more difficulty getting shoes to fit; eventually Osteoarthritis may set in. In most people, both feet are more or less equally affected. If bunions are causing unbearable discomfort, your medical doctor may recommend surgery to straighten big toes. Calluses can be dealt with by a chiropodist. For homeopathic remedies, see Bursitis and Corns and Calluses.

Self-help: if bunions are inflamed by bursitis, sort out your oldest, softest pair of shoes, cut holes in the uppers over the bunions and wear only that pair of shoes until the bursitis clears up.

If bunions run in the family there are various preventive measures you can take. First of all, wear roomy comfortable shoes, and whenever possible go without shoes or socks. Keep the arches of your feet strong by picking up squash balls with your toes. Do exercises to strengthen the weak muscles down the side of each big toe: standing with feet together at heels and toes, try to move your big toes towards each other, hold for 10 seconds, then relax. Don't cheat by moving your heels apart. Difficult at first, but persevere!

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Ailment & Diseases

  Corns & Calluses
  Osteoarthritis (Osteoarthrosis)
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Related to Muscles, Bones & Joints
  National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society
  British Chiropractic Association
  Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
  Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  General Osteopathic Council
  Arthritic Association
  West London School of Therapeutic Massage
  Arthritis Care
  British Osteopathic Association (BOA)

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