A bunion is formed when the big toe pushes against the next toe. The resulting symptoms of bunion are a bone deformity of the foot, stiffness in the affected joints and pain when bearing weight, flexing the affected joints and sensitivity to touch.

The primary symptoms of bunions are:

  • Stiffness of the big toe joint
  • Pain at the joint
  • Deformity of the foot

What Causes a Bunion?

Bunions can be caused by several different reasons.  A bunion occurs when the big toe pushes against the second toe.  This then forces the first metatarsal to angle, creating the “bunion” or bony protrusion.  While some people are genetically predisposed to this foot problem environmental issues can reduce the risk and severity of bunions.  Primarily avoiding footwear that causes the inward pressure of the big toe and stiff fabrics along the body protrusion.  For our recommendation on bunion appropriate footwear, please read this article.

Overpronation in the walking gait can also contribute to and exacerbate bunions.  Overpronation is simply the inward roll of the foot as we walk.  Excessive inward rolling of the foot can cause an unnatural pressure on the big toe and first metatarsal, those creating the bunion.

How to Treat a Bunion

Treating a bunion can range anywhere from doing nothing to surgery to correct the issue.  Most people that encounter bunion problems can manage the symptoms without surgery, but for major deformities, surgery can be necessary.

The first line of defense for bunion treatment is to get quality, well-designed shoes that don’t pressure the painful point and do not put unnecessary pressure inward on the big toe.  Along with proper footwear, a bunion suffer should consider a proper shoe orthotic specifically designed to prevent over pronation.  This combined with a simple anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen or naproxen can help with the irritation and stiffness.

Bunion suffers second step in combatting the pain associated with this condition specific foot bracing meant to hold the foot in a more natural position.

These bunion bracing devices include:

  Usually only after all other options are exhausted, will a podiatrist recommend bunion surgery as a treatment option.