Baby boomer women, those who wore pointy-toed high heels to work early in their careers, are likely to share a painful result now: bunions.
A bunion is the bump that forms at the base of the big toe. It forms when your big toe is forced to push against your other toes. That makes the base of the toe stick out in the opposite direction. After a while, the abnormality grows in size and may cause a considerable amount of pain.
Besides the wearing of ill-fitting shoes, the causes may also lie in heredity or arthritis. Some structural foot problems run in families. In cases where one leg is longer than the other, a bunion may form on the foot of the longer leg.
Over the counter pain relievers may suffice for many sufferers. A bunion pad may cushion the bump. If inflammation occurs, an ice pack can reduce swelling. Alas, shoes with heel heights in excess of two and a quarter inches are a no no.
A visit to a podiatrist may be necessary for persistent pain or decreased movement of the foot. Surgery is a last resort and should never be done just for cosmetic reasons.