Bunions are a progressive foot condition affecting the big toe, which worsens with age, and many people have concerns over how developing bunions will affect the way they walk. 

Bunions start small but rarely stay that way. The metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint flexes every time you take a step. It’s this constant movement that causes the bunion to grow larger and more painful over time.

Eventually, the bunion reaches large enough proportions to put abnormal pressure on your big toe. It presses into the smaller toes, and they are forced into an unnatural angle. Sometimes, bunions can become large enough to push the big toe into an angle that forces it over or under the second toe.

Bunions can Limit Movement and Mobility

Big toes help maintain your balance, so there’s a lot of pressure put on them from the weight of your body. This area of the foot also gives you leverage for pushing the foot off the ground when you walk and run.

The MTP joint bears a lot of your weight and helps distribute the weight more evenly over the foot to prevent excessive pressure.

As bunions grow, they can begin to affect foot function negatively. Movement is accompanied by pain, and people adjust their gait and balance to compensate. Adapting your stride to accommodate a bunion changes your balance and increases your risk of falls.

Because bunions progressively get worse over time, the older generation is most at risk of falls caused by bunions.

How Bunions Relate to Metatarsalgia

When people shift their weight away from a painful big toe, extra pressure is applied to the ball of the foot. This additional pressure causes a condition known as metatarsalgia, which is often reported as feeling like a pebble lodged in the shoe. Eventually, the situation will lead to sharp pains and aching in the sole.

If you have bunions and are concerned about how they may eventually affect your posture and walking, contact Northwest Surgery Center today for more information on modern treatments for bunions.

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