What’s the bump on my foot?

By Dorothy Cohee for Athletico

Have you ever noticed a bump on the top of your foot or along the side of your big toe? What is it?

The bump along the side of your great toe is known as a bunion. This is a condition also known as hallux abducto valgus, which means the big toe (hallux) moves toward the second toe resulting in the bony bump called a bunion. They are present in about 23% of adults aged 18 to 65 years. Bunions may also be present at the base of the fifth toe and are known as Tailor’s bunion or bunionette. Due to its development over time, the side of the big toe may become sore, red and painful. There may also be tingling, less mobility in the big toe and thickened skin at the base of the toe.

Causes:

  1. High heels or extremely tight fitting shoesfoot2
  2. Inherited foot type (pronation-flat feet)
  3. Stress caused by occupational related hazard
  4. Foot injuries and trauma
  5. Congenital deformities present at birth
  6. Over pronation with walk and weight bearing activities

Treatment:

  1. Wear supportive, comfortable shoes
    1. Try a shoe with a wider toe box
    2. A less flexible shoe may be beneficial
  2. Padding or strapping/taping of foot
  3. Big toe splinting
  4. Orthotics
  5. Surgery

The bump on the top of your foot is known as dorsal exostosis. This bump is often prominent, can be painful and is the result of bony growth that occurs on top of the arch. The pain occurs from compression from shoe wear and with additional growth and/or compression to the region achiness, tingling and pins and needles sensation may be felt on the top of the foot and toes when the nerves are irritated.foot1

Causes:

  1. This most often occurs with individuals who pronate (foot rolls in).
    1. The big toe tends to have too much mobility causing irritation and the body to lay down extra bone for protection.
  2. It may also occur in a supinated (high arched) foot.
    1. The first metatarsal (big toe) points down toward the ground at a higher angle causing the proximal base to be more prominent at the top of the foot and creating irritation and bony growth on top of the foot.
  3. Tight footwear due to long term irritation of the area

Treatment

  1. Shoe wear:
    1. Decrease compression across the top of your foot
      1. When lacing your shoes, skip the holes in which the lace would cross the top of your foot.
    2. Avoid tight running, walking, and working shoe wear
    3. Try wearing a less flexible running shoe to decrease mobility of metatarsals
    4. Orthotics
    5. Surgery
      1. If conservative measures do not work, this is another option to excise the extra bone.

If you have either of these bumps, it is just as important that you run in the correct footwear as it is you are walking around and working in the right footwear. Come in to see one of our endurance specialists who can help give you some tips and visit local running stores for additional tips on shoe wear.