What are bunions?
Many runners suffer with big toe pain during or after runs. This is often due to, or the beginning of the development of bunions, alternatively known as a 'hallux valgus' deformity. A bunion is the term used to describe the painful inward slanting orientation of the big toe, so that its tip becomes squeezed towards the smaller toes. Over time this increased angle of the big toe worsens and a protruding lump may develop on the inside of the foot, where the toe joins with the foot.
What causes bunions and big toe pain?
Factors that may cause the development of big toe pain or bunions include:
- Abnormal running biomechanics
- Wearing tight footwear, often a cause for development of bunions in women.
- Abnormal postures of the feet
What are the symptoms of big toe pain and bunions?
Pain and deformity of the big toe are the major signs and symptoms of this condition. Pain is localised to the base of the big toe, where it joins to the foot. Other symptoms may include:
- Pain during running or walking
- Swelling / inflammation around the big toe.
- Progressive angling of the big toe towards the smaller toes.
- Development of a protruding lump at the base of the big toe.
- Pain whilst wearing tight footwear
- Increased pain climbing stairs or ascending hills
Biomechanical analysis for bunions and big toe pain
In runners, abnormal running mechanics is often the main cause of big toe pain. Although over pronation is often isolated as the major cause in this group of individuals, it is important to understand its cause, which can develop from:
- Collapsed arches of the feet
- Poor ankle and foot control whilst running
- Poor control and muscle weakness at the hip
- Abnormal valgus angles at the knee (knock knee posture)
- Poor choice of equipment e.g. running shoe.
To arrange a biomechanical running assessment with one of the specialist physiotherapists, please call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 today. You can also book appointments online using our online booking system