Red flag: pro­trud­ing big-toe joint

First For Women - - Health -

“A ten­der bony bump on the out­side of the big toe sig­nals a bunion, a de­for­mity that oc­curs due to mis­align­ment of the metatar­sopha­langeal joint at the toe’s base,” says po­di­atric sur­geon Dana Canuso, D.P.M. And while re­search sug­gests bunions have a hered­i­tary com­po­nent, wear­ing high heels is also a fac­tor. “Heels force the bulk of the body’s weight onto the big toes,” Dr. Canuso ex­plains.“This puts added pres­sure on the joint, caus­ing bunions to progress to the point where they be­come ex­tremely prom­i­nent and painful.”

FOR FAST RE­LIEF: If you have even a slight bump, Dr. Canuso ad­vises wear­ing sil­i­cone-gel toe spac­ers (find them at in­side all your shoes. “They help re­align mus­cles and ten­dons that sup­port the joint, eas­ing pain.” FOR LONG-TERM HEALTH: To min­i­mize pres­sure on the joint and stop bunions from pro­gress­ing, Dr. Canuso rec­om­mends heels that are 1 to 2 inches high with a wide (not pointed) toe box. Be sure they fit your heel snugly so feet don’t slide for­ward and put added pres­sure on toes.

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