A bunion is a bony swelling at the base of the big toe. People with certain foot types are more likely to develop bunions. If you have flat feet, or low arches, your chance of getting bunions is increased.
Most bunions develop as a result of wearing shoes that do not fit properly. Women get bunions more often than men because they tend to wear tight, pointed, or high-heeled shoes.
High heels push most of your body weight onto the front of your foot, placing a great strain on the toe joints. Women also tend to have looser ligaments than men, which make them more prone to getting bunions.
If your shoes are tight, they will rub against the big toe joint. This can thicken the skin and tissues and form a bunion. Continuing to wear badly fitting shoes will make your bunions worse.
Bunions can also be caused, or made worse, by arthritis. Arthritis is a condition where the protective cartilage covering the joints becomes diseased or damaged.
As the joints are stiff, and hard to move, it can be difficult to straighten out your toes to prevent them rubbing against your shoes.
Clawed and hammer toes
Clawed or hammer toes can be caused by poorly fitting or slip-on footwear. If your shoes are too loose you may have to grip with your toes to help keep the shoe on your foot.
This causes the pressure on the top and end of the toes which can lead to corns and calluses.
Over a period of time the toes become fixed in this position leading to hammered or clawed toes which will not straighten and you will need extra depth in the toe box of your shoes to avoid further problems.
If your feet swell regularly you should consult your GP.