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If the joint that connects your big toe to your foot has a swollen, sore bump, you may have a bunion. More than half the women in America have bunions, a common deformity often blamed on wearing tight, narrow shoes, and high heels. Bunions may occur in families, but many are from wearing tight shoes. Nine out of ten bunions happen to women. Nine out of ten women wear shoes that are too small. Too-tight shoes can also cause other disabling foot problems like corns, calluses and hammertoes.

Shoe Recommendations
Look for the following two features: SL-2 last and the metatarsal pad (which automatically comes in most shoes) that supports the transverse arch. A shoe with a wider forefoot will also provide extra room, not cramping or squeezing the problem areas.

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A bunion occurs when the big toe becomes deformed and turns inward to point toward the second toe. Bunions tend to occur more in women and can run in families. Over time, extra bone and fluid develop at the base of the big toe, along the metatarsophalangeal joint, and a painful bony bump grows. Other symptoms that indicate a bunion are callouses and redness along the inner edge of the big toe. A number of different factors can cause a bunion to develop. Genetic predisposition and abnormal bone structure can be precursors of bunions. Wearing poor fitting shoes that are too tight or high heels often cause bunions to develop. A bunion can usually be easily diagnosed just by having a podiatrist inspect the foot, although the doctor may order an x-ray to confirm the condition.

Bunions can be treated. It is important to take good care of your feet and wearing appropriate, well-fitting shoes, such as New Balance, can relieve the pain and prevent further deformity. Felt and foam pads are available over-the-counter that can provide some comfort. Spacers that separate the first and second toe and are worn overnight can be helpful. Pain relievers can help with the ache and inflammation and icing will help with the soreness. In severe cases surgery, known as a bunionectomy, may be required to remove the bump and realign the toes.

New Balance shoes are recommended not just for providing a comfortable fit for those who already suffer from bunions, but also for preventing bunions from developing in the first place. The sturdy arch support and roomy box provide the good support and space to keep toes from becoming cramped together. If you have an inherited foot condition like flat feet or a tendency towards bunions, it is important to protect your feet with well-fitting shoes.

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