According to a National Foot Health Assessment, nearly one-third of American adults have bunions, a prevalent foot problem. Although this particular foot issue mainly affects adults, it can occur at any age. Medically called hallux valgus, bunion Los Angeles is a bony bump formed at the base of your big toe on one or both feet. The painful foot condition results from subjecting the big toe joint to years of strain. Eventually, the base of the big toe joint develops sideways, pushing the big toe bone towards your smaller toes.
As per a Harvard Health Publishing (HHP) study, more than half of American women have bunions and thus are more affected by that type of foot deformity than men. Only about a quarter of men have bunions.
Subsequently, below are potential reasons American women may be more susceptible to bunions than American men.
- Wearing ill-fitting footwear
If you often wear tightly fitting or narrow shoes, more constant pressure is exerted on the bones and joints of the toes. Because the big toe is forced into an unnatural position, it eventually develops bunions.
Your doctor will likely recommend you start wearing shoes that give your toes, especially the big toe, enough room to maneuver and rest.
You can also get relief by walking barefoot for an extended period.
Sometimes wearing shoes that feel tighter near your toes may not cause bunions. On the other hand, you can wear shoes that are wide enough and feel comfortable near your toes but can still develop bunions.
- The shape and structure of the foot
Unlike men, women have a higher foot arch, thinner feet and heels, and weaker joints and connective tissues. As a result, women are more susceptible to bony deformities, especially in their feet, such as bunions.
When you are pregnant, you are more at risk of bunions due to rapid gaining of weight or changes in hormone levels.
During pregnancy, the weight you gain is due to the growth and development of the baby in the womb and the body storing a lot of fat, particularly for producing breast milk.
Also, there is more production and release of the relaxin hormone during pregnancy to allow the relaxation and loosening of bones and ligaments in the pelvic region to accommodate the baby’s growth and prepare your body for vaginal delivery.
However, the relaxation of bones, joints, and ligaments also affects the feet, weakening and flattening them to cause bunions.
If you have pregnancy-related bunions, your doctor often recommends conservative treatments, including wearing custom-made orthotics and ice therapy.
During peri-menopause or menopause, there is a significant reduction in the volume of reproductive hormones, such as estrogen, that the body produces naturally. Hormones are vital in bone growth and maturation and bone turnover regulation.
When in menopause, you produce inadequate estrogen levels, and thus, you become more susceptible to osteoporosis, a condition causing bones to become weaker and brittle. Consequently, your feet may develop bunions.
Contact The Sunset Foot Clinic today to schedule an appointment with a bunion specialist and learn more about relief options.