Biomechanics of obese people may cause bunions
A recent study reveals that people with a lot of excess body fat have altered biomechanics which may lead to joint problems.
The association between obesity and bunions has long been established. Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands may have uncovered some possible reasons behind this effect, DoctorsLounge.com reported.
In a study, the scientists discovered that obese people tend to take shorter, wider steps and are also more likely than their normal-weight counterparts to pronate, or walk with toes pointed outward.
"There are indications that these alterations could be associated to the osteoarthritic process of cartilage degeneration," said study authors, quoted by the news source.
Bunions are sometimes the result of arthritis, and are often accompanied by cartilage loss, suggesting that altered biomechanics may be the reason why obese people tend to develop bunions.
The Rochester Clinic reports that a bunion diagnosis should include a biomechanical evaluation. According to the news source, bunions are likely to lead to hammer toe. The clinic said that correcting an individual's gait may provide relief from bunions or hammer toe.Bunion splints or orthotics may help correct the way a person walks, thereby treating the root of many foot problems.