Your mom has bunions. Your grandma had bunions. Are you doomed to the same fate? Maybe, but maybe not.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know exactly why bunions might form in one person but not another. We do know, based on the evidence, that bunions do tend to run in families. The foot structure that you inherit might not be the best at keeping pressure away from the big toe joint, and over time that can lead to destabilization and bunion formation.

However, the evidence also suggests that environmental factors do have a role to play in bunion formation—or at the very least, they can cause a bunion to form earlier and faster. That means by avoiding these risk factors, you might be able to prevent bunions, or at least keep them progressing as slowly as possible.

The biggest thing you can do? Be smart about the shoes you wear. High heels that throw all your weight to the front of the feet are a definite no-no. However, any shoe that compacts your feet and toes into a tight, narrow space is a suspect. The same goes for shoes without proper arch support, or even a “good” shoe that just plain doesn’t fit your feet.

Avoiding these options and sticking with comfy, roomy, supportive shoes that fit properly without crowding your toes won’t just help you prevent bunions, but they help your feet feel better pretty much all the time. If you do still experience some pain, or you notice a bit of a bunion bump beginning to form, the right pair of insoles or custom orthotics could make a big difference, too.

At Freeland Foot & Ankle Clinic, Dr. Timothy Dailey wants to keep your feet as healthy and mobile as possible. If that’s your goal, too—and it should be! —it’s far better to prevent a bunion than to deal with a severe one later on. To schedule an appointment with us, please give us a call at (989) 695-6788 or fill out the online form!