In this article, we take a closer look at three key aspects of hallux valgus, backed up by scientific information from reputable sources.
One of the main factors is the wearing of unsuitable footwear, particularly narrow or pointed-toed shoes. These shoes can force the toes into an unnatural position, increasing the risk of developing bunions over time.
A study published in the "Journal of Foot and Ankle Research" (Coughlin, M. J., & Jones, C. P. (2007). Hallux valgus and first ray mobility: a cadaveric study. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 13(1), 12.) highlights the link between footwear and the development of hallux valgus.
As the deformity progresses, the big toe may tilt more towards the other toes, making it difficult to wear comfortable shoes.
In addition, hallux valgus can alter the alignment of the foot, leading to problems such as corns, calluses and even problems in other parts of the body, such as the knees and lower back.
A study published in the journal "Arthritis Care & Research" (Nix, S. E., Vicenzino, B. T., & Collins, N. J. (2012). The association between hallux valgus and osteoarthritis of the first metatarsophalangeal joint. Arthritis Care & Research, 64(6), 944-950. The European Commission's report on hallux valgus and other health complications.
In mild cases, changing shoes to models with a wider toe box, such as minimalist shoes, can relieve discomfort and prevent progression of the deformity.
Custom orthotics and insoles may also be recommended to improve foot alignment.
Physiotherapy exercises can improve foot strength and flexibility, helping to maintain correct alignment.
In more severe cases, surgery may be considered. Surgical options range from realignment of the bones to removal of bony prominences.
A study published in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery (Kilmartin, T. E., & Wallace, W. A. (1994). The Scarf osteotomy for the correction of hallux valgus: a review of 83 cases. Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, 33(5), 502-505.) examines the effectiveness of surgical procedures for the treatment of hallux valgus.
With the right footwear, preventive measures and medical advice, individuals can take proactive steps to treat hallux valgus and ensure better foot health.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.
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