While people often blame bunions on genetics, there are a couple of other factors that need to be taken into consideration when looking at what might cause bunions. The first and more obvious factor is footwear. Unfortunately some footwear choices are driven by fashion rather than function. Shoes that have a high heel or taper into a point around the toe box area change the way that our feet were intended to function and reduce our toes ability to grasp the ground.
A lesser known factor in the development of bunions is core stability. Having lower levels of core stability can create a myriad of changes from the pelvis down that ultimately stresses our big toes to the point of developing bunions.
Lets look at the pelvis first. While the hips themselves need to move freely to ensure that we can walk efficiently, the large ring shaped pelvis (which is intimately related to the lower back) needs to remain stable. If the core muscles aren’t functioning as they should, they allow the pelvis to move alot more which then reduces the stability of the knees which are the next link down the chain.
When the knees lose stability they tend to cave in towards the middle of your body which then has a flow on effect to the foot. The foot follows the knee and the arch collapses down towards the ground. This is not the most stable position and the body tries to cheat and create stability by rotating the foot so that instead of pointing straight ahead, the foot points out to the side.
This of course changes the way that the foot operates and puts pressure on the foot in such a way that the big toe tends to be stressed causing a bony reaction at the base of the big toe. If the stress is sufficient and present for long enough, this bony reaction will form a bunion.
This is just another example of just how interrelate d and connected the body is and why it is so important to look at the bigger picture!