About Bunions

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. A bunion forms when your big toe pushes against your next toe, forcing the joint of your big toe to get bigger and stick out. The skin over the bunion might be red and sore.

Wearing tight, narrow shoes might cause bunions or might make them worse. Bunions can also develop as a result of an inherited structural defect, stress on your foot or a medical condition, such as arthritis.

Smaller bunions (bunionettes) also can develop on the joint of your little toes.

The signs and symptoms of a bunion include:

  • A bulging bump on the outside of the base of your big toe

  • Swelling, redness or soreness around your big toe joint

  • Thickening of the skin at the base of your big toe

  • Corns or calluses — these often develop where the first and second toes overlap

  • Persistent or intermittent pain

  • Restricted movement of your big toe

Bunions develop when the pressures of bearing and shifting your weight fall unevenly on the joints and tendons in your feet. This imbalance in pressure makes your big toe joint unstable, eventually molding the parts of the joint into a hard knob that juts out beyond the normal shape of your foot.

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of your bunion and the amount of pain it causes.

Treatments that may relieve the pain and pressure of a bunion include:

  • Shoe inserts. Shoe inserts such as our FootBalance insoles will help distribute pressure evenly by supporting your arches when you walk which will reduce your symptoms and prevent your bunion getting worse

  • Changing shoes

  • Padding and taping or splinting

  • Medications can help you control the pain of a bunion. Cortisone injections also can be helpful.

  • Applying ice Icing your bunion after you've been on your feet too long can help relieve soreness and inflammation.

  • Surgical options If conservative treatment doesn't solve the problem you may require surgery.

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