What is a Bunions?

A bunion is a foot deformity that can cause pain, swelling and discomfort. They often develop over years and are most common in women.

Bunions can develop due to a variety of factors, including genetics and inherited foot structure and shape. They can also be triggered by certain inflammatory conditions or other medical problems.


A bunion is a bony bump that develops on the side of your foot. It is caused by an abnormality in the shape of your foot bones, a condition called hallux 拇趾外翻 valgus.

A doctor can diagnose a bunion through a careful examination of your foot and symptoms, including pain in the big toe joint. They may also order X-rays to see if the alignment of your toes is abnormal.

Bunion pain is usually localized, but it can extend into the ball of your foot and cause numbness or tingling. In addition to the pain, you may experience a hard corn or callus over the bunion.

A doctor can recommend over-the-counter or custom-made shoe inserts that support the foot in a better position, and some people find relief by wearing a splint at night that keeps the big toe straight. If your pain and discomfort don’t improve with these treatments, we might refer you to a physical therapist or orthopedic surgeon for a customized treatment plan.


A bunion can develop as a result of faulty mechanical structure in the foot, usually as a result of wearing tight shoes that squeeze the toes together. This is more common in people who have weak connective tissue, a short Achilles’ tendon, short calf muscles, or a joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Some people are prone to developing bunions because of their genes. Other people get them because their feet aren’t shaped right.

Among adult women, about 1 in 3 develops a bunion to some degree. Tweens and teens are at increased risk, as they often wear tight or pointed shoes that can make the problem worse.

Your doctor can diagnose a bunion with an exam and an x-ray. He or she will measure the angles between certain bones in your foot, specifically, the angle formed by the first metatarsal bone and the big toe (hallux valgus angle) and the intermetatarsal angle.


If conservative treatment does not relieve your bunion pain, a doctor may suggest surgery. This option is not recommended for cosmetic reasons; only when a bunion keeps you from wearing shoes or causes chronic discomfort.

Nonsurgical methods often include applying ice packs to the affected foot to reduce swelling and soreness. Other methods that can help with pain and inflammation include massage, whirlpool, ultrasound, and topical anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin.

Custom orthotic devices (shoe inserts) can control alignment issues that contribute to bunions. They can also prevent future bunions by distributing pressure evenly throughout the foot.

Other treatment options include using bunion pads to keep the bunion from rubbing against the inside of shoes. These are available at drugstores in moleskin or gel-filled pads. They’re not recommended for every patient, however, so it’s best to try them out first to see if they’re helpful for your particular bunion. Physical therapy can also help with bunion symptoms, focusing on strengthening muscles in the feet and ankles.


Bunions are a common foot condition, particularly in women. They develop as a result of pressure on the joint in your big toe. The pressure causes the big toe to lean toward your second toe, resulting in a bump called a bunion.

While it’s not clear why some people develop bunions, the condition can be hereditary or related to structural foot defects. Some feet, including flat feet or high arches, are more likely to develop bunions than other types of feet.

Wearing proper-fitting shoes is key to preventing bunions and keeping them from getting worse. Choose shoes that have a wide toe box, soft soles, and heels that are less than 2 inches high.

There are also over-the-counter and custom orthotics that can control some of the problems that cause a person to develop a bunion. Over time, these shoe inserts can help reduce a bunion’s size and alleviate its pain and symptoms. In addition, icing and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve pain and inflammation.

Leave a Comment