Some genetic traits are pleasant and others we aren’t so thrilled about. But when it comes to bunions, are bunions hereditary? For example, can you be born with bunions?
Well, let’s take a look at the hereditary nature of bunions. And then we’ll discuss options to prevent or treat them:
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They form due to an instability in your toe joints. More specifically, this instability tends to occur in the Lisfranc joint, which is on the long metatarsal bone on the inside middle of your foot, or the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) which is the big joint at the base of your big toe.
When one of these joints is unstable, your bones start to move out of alignment. The metatarsal bone moves outward – causing bunions.
If your parents have or have had bunions, then you may be at higher risk for hereditary bunions yourself. There do appear to be some genetic factors regarding bunion formation.
For instance, different bone structure and weight can come into play. Your foot shape or your gait, and the way you walk naturally could contribute to developing bunions like your ancestors.
Beyond that, most people don’t have bunions from an incredibly young age. They tend to form as we get older due to various factors, such as footwear we use, our weight, and regularly maintaining foot and ankle health.
So the question of “are bunions genetic?” is both yes and no.
If your parents were living a type of lifestyle that contributes to bunions, there’s a good chance that you are too.
For instance, if your parents always wore tight shoes or high heels and you copied what they did, then it could place you at greater risk for having bunions.
So when thinking about whether or not bunions are hereditary, it goes beyond genetics. There’s also the tendency of people to mimic the lifestyles of their parents.
That being said, what can you do to minimize the risk for bunions?
There are several things you can do to reduce bunion risk, such as wear wider footwear and less high heels.
Consider orthopedic devices to reduce stress on certain areas of your feet. Maintain a weight that puts less pressure on your feet and ankles.
Exercise and stretch regularly. And keep in regular touch with a podiatrist or foot specialist to ensure that early signs of bunions are taken care of.
To summarize, yes bunions do have a genetic component. Often having misshapen feet is bunions’ hereditary nature coming into play.
However, just because your parents had bunions doesn’t always mean that you will too. And just because your parents didn’t have bunions doesn’t mean that you won’t. The best way to avoid or fix bunions is to see a podiatrist that specializes in bunions in Marietta as soon as you can. That way, you can understand your risk and your options to live comfortably and free of foot pain.