Bunions are generally thought to be genetic. Some experts believe shoes that don’t fit properly cause bunions, but others think shoes only worsen an existing structural problem They occur because of faulty foot structure, which is inherited. Some conditions that contribute to the development of bunions include excessively flexible ligaments, flat feet and abnormal bone structure.
Bunions start out small — but they usually get worse over time (especially if the individual continues to wear tight, narrow shoes). Because the MTP joint flexes with every step, the bigger the bunion gets, the more painful and difficult walking can become.
An advanced bunion can greatly alter the appearance of the foot. In severe bunions, the big toe may angle all the way under or over the second toe. Pressure from the big toe may force the second toe out of alignment, causing it to come in contact with the third toe. Calluses may develop where the toes rub against each other, causing additional discomfort and difficulty walking.
A heel spur is an outgrowth of calcium that develops between the heel bone and the arch of the foot. For many individuals, there are no symptoms but, for others, it can be painful and cause inflammation.
This is not a condition that can be easily diagnosed and requires medical imaging to confirm.
Heel spurs are caused by long-term strain on muscles and ligaments. They can also be caused by arthritis, excess body weight, and by wearing badly fitted or worn out shoes.
Treatments can include a cold compress, injections of anti-inflammatory drugs, OTC pain medications, rest, and orthotic shoe inserts.