Bunions and Your Family Tree

Can you control your foot destiny? There are a few things we probably wish we hadn’t inherited from our parents: short stature, straight hair, baldness—to name a few. We receive a collection of traits, both good and bad, from our ancestors. But are bunions something passed down from your family?

It’s true. If your grandparents or parents had bunions, you are at a higher risk for developing the same condition down the road. Our genetics definitely play a role in bunion formation. We inherit our foot shape and type from our genetic line. Your foot shape, length, and type determine how joints handle everyday stresses. Since bunions are formed by abnormal stress on the big toe joint, this is where the genetic link becomes a factor.

But there is good news! Just like other inherited traits, there are always ways to minimize any higher risk factors due to your family genetics. You can help prevent bunion formation if you:

  • Wear the right shoes. This means wearing the right type of shoe as well as making sure it’s the right length and width.
  • Invest in orthotics. Orthotics help distribute pressure from the arch, ankle, and lower leg so it does not stress or aggravate your big toe joint.
  • Get to or stay at a healthy weight. Losing just one pound of bodyweight can take up to four pounds of pressure off your feet.
  • Keep your legs and feet strong. This includes general exercise but might also involve physical therapy, toe exercises, and stretching.

If you are at a higher risk for bunions due to your family history, call FAAWC today for an appointment. Our providers can help explain your risk level and put a plan in place with you to prevent the formation or progression of future bunions. 740.363.4373

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