Women tend to experience the pain and disfigurement associated with bunions more often than men. Here we explain why:
It's been said that women often suffer for the sake of fashion. That seems to be especially true when it comes to their feet years of wearing narrow, highheeled, pointed shoes can wreak havoc on the structure of women's feet, particularly in the form of bunions. These deformities have become one of the most common afflictions podiatrists treat in their offices. But why does this problem tend to affect women over men, and what can be done to prevent it?
First, it's important to know what bunions are and how they develop. Bunions gradually develop on the outside of the big toes from pressure on their joints. As the big toe is constantly pushed inward toward the other toes, the bunion becomes more pronounced. They are not actually new growths; the deformity of the foot bones makes it appear that there is a lump under the skin. The results of this irregularity can be pain, swelling and limited range of motion, and its appearance can make people selfconscious about going barefoot or wearing opentoed shoes.
The cause of bunions is not completely known: they may be an inherited abnormality, or they may be caused by many years of wearing illfitting footwear. Either way, it is generally accepted that cheaply-made or tight-fitting shoes can worsen bunions over time. Given that women's shoes often require the foot to contort into an unnatural position, it is no wonder that more women suffer from bunions than men. Women also tend to be more arthritic, a condition that can exacerbate bunions as well.
Low-maintenance, non-surgical options are usually the first line of treatment for bunions. Shoes should be highquality and fitted by an expert to ensure proper sizing. Speciallydesigned foot pads or arch supports can be worn to alleviate some of the pressure and mild pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can ease the pain. Surgeries involve removing some of the affected bone or surrounding tissue to correct the foot's position.
If you think your feet might be fashion victims, kick your shoes off and call your podiatrist to ask about your options.