Symptoms: Hallux valgus or bunions cause pain in the big toe when weight is put on it. In some cases, bunions can even hurt in the absence of pressure on the foot. In either case, the pain is usually described as numbing or burning sensation.
Overview: Hallux valgus is a slow-developing condition where the big toes bends toward the other toes on the same foot, forming a large bump on the foot called a bunion. Often, the cause of this damage is due to your genetics, combined with some sort of chronic abuse, but other factors may be the cause, such as a broken toe that never healed properly.
The condition usually reveals itself during middle age and is most prevalent in women who wear high-heeled or pointed shoes. This kind of footwear aggravates the foot and may contribute to bunion formation due to the pressure these shoes place on the big toe.
The name hallux valgus refers to hallux, Latin for the big toe, and valgus, Latin for deviation. With hallux valgus, the big toe isn’t the only part of the foot affected. Three bones actually shift, the two that make up the big toe and the metatarsal bone in the forefoot that the toe attaches to.
The metatarsal connects to the big toe through a joint that you feel as a bump on the inside of your foot, just below the toe. Hallux valgus can develop when this joint, known as the metatarsophalangeal joint, is damaged. If you have a bunion, this is the joint where it grows.
People who over-pronate, or roll their feet inward every time they step, are also prone to bunions because every time they walk they put pressure on the big toe and first metatarsal. Inflammatory arthritis can lead to hallux valgus by causing severe degradation of the metatarsophalangeal joint, leading to abnormalities in the surrounding bones.
If you have hallux valgus, Dr. Suzan Starler, D.C. can examine your foot to determine which of these factors may be causing your condition. There are a number of techniques and modalities that can decrease your pain while improving your foot’s function.