Bunions and Hallux Abducto Valgus (Hav)

Bunions or bunion pain refer to the bony lump found at the large joint on the base of the big toe.

This bump develops from bone surrounding the joint being irritated due to the joint jamming. The joint jams when the foot over pronates. This twists the joint and effectively cross threads the first toe joint.

Ergonx help to prevent this condition through limiting the amount of pronation. This helps to maintain the first toe joint in a more functional position and limit the amount of jamming.

Causes and treatment of bunions and bunion pain

Bunions and Hallux abducto valgus (Hav) refer to the bony lump found at first metatarsal phalangeal joint (base of the first toe). Bunions are a progressive condition and in most cases will become painful at some stage depending on the severity of the bunion and the amount of activity of the individual.

There are a number of factors to consider in determining the cause of a bunion, which are:
  • Biomechanical position of the foot – is the foot position responsible for the bunion?
  • Genetics – is there a genetic predisposition for a bunion to form?
  • Footwear – is the footwear shape or instability causing the bunion?
  • Activity level – is the activity level too great for this particular foot type?
Usually a bunion forms due to a combination of the above etiologies with the most common factor being a biomechanical abnormality of the foot causing abnormal pronation.

When the foot over pronates (rolls in) the entire foot everts (twists to the center). This causes the first-metatarsal-phalangeal (mp) joint to twist as the big toe is fixed and planted securely on the ground and the foot is moving inwards. As the foot moves on to the toes for propulsion the first mp joint is effectively cross threaded as the first toe tries to extend.

It is this cross threading that causes irritation of the bone and surrounding joint. When bone is irritated it will grow in order to protect its structure. As the joint is irritated the bony growths form on the areas of greatest cross threading. This causes greater irritation as the joint will now jam on the excess bone formation. The cycle repeats with joint jamming, bone formation which causes greater joint jamming and so on.

When this poor mechanical position is coupled with ligamentous laxity (flexibility), high activity, a genetic predisposition for bunions or poor fitting footwear, the bunion is likely to form and cause significant debility.

Treatment for bunions can be handled conservatively (no surgery) or by surgery.

Conservative treatment involves correcting the underlying biomechanical factors such as excess pronation. This can be achieved by using Ergonx foot innersoles.  Ergonx innersoles align the foot in a way that allows the large toe joint to work more efficiently and prevent wear and tear on this joint.  This leads to less wear and tear on the bunion joint, less bunion formation and less pain.