What is a Bunion and What Can I Do About It?

Bunions are often described as a bump at the base of the big toe.  With a bunion, the big toe leans towards the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead.  This produces the trademark “bump” which occurs at the side of the first toe joint.

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Apart from being often hereditary, bunions are often a result of faulty foot mechanics, in particular excess pronation (rolling inwards of feet or mobile ‘flat feet’).  Wearing tight fitting footwear that is narrow at the toes may also be a contributing factor.

Possible associated problems with bunions include corns, hammer toes, bursitis, tailors bunions, callus formation and arthritis, to name just a few.

Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself.  These options include:

  1. Changes in Footwear: Avoid high heeled, pointed shoes.  Choose footwear with wide toe box. This is the most important treatment option available to you
  2. Padding: Deflective pads placed over the bunion or around the bunion can help reduce pressure.
  3. Medication: Occasionally anti-inflammatory medication may help the pain.
  4. Orthotic Therapy: Orthoses have been used to help slow the progression of                         the deformity and reduce pain, but they won’t stop the bunion from developing.