toe bunion treatment


Bunions is a common foot problem, especially among women. It involves having a large bump on the inner aspect of the foot at the site of the connection between the big toe and the foot itself. The bump is actually the base of the big toe which sticks out because the great toe is pushed over toward the second toe rather than pointing in its proper position.

Sometimes the condition is mistaken as hallux valgus, but not everyone with a bunion has hallux valgus. Just the big toe can be out of alignment, or some of the other toes can also be pointed outward.

Bunions don’t happen overnight. The big toe begins to lean toward the second toe first, and the other toes follow suit. The bump happens when the big toe falls out of alignment, and its proximal end is not properly aligned in the joint socket.

Causes of Bunions

Most people who have bunions have a hereditary propensity for the problem. They inherit a type of foot that is more prone to getting a bunion, especially when wearing shoes that are too tight and crowd the toes together. Tight shoes alone don’t cause bunions in everyone but, if you’re prone to getting bunions, tight shoes will worsen the problem. 

Other malalignment of bones and other conditions can also contribute to the prominent ‘bump’ on your foot by your big toe.

curing bunions

Symptoms of a Bunion

The main bunion symptoms are located at the site of the bunion itself. These include the following:

  • Redness and inflammation at the site of the bunion.
  • Soreness or pain, especially when wearing tight shoes.
  • Burning at the site of the bunion.
  • Numbness of the great toe or over the site of the bunion.

Your symptoms will worsen if the shoes are too tight or you wear high heels. Because high heels are the culprit in many situations, women tend to get bunions more often than men. The bunion symptoms will worsen if you are on your feet much of the day.

Diagnosis of Bunions

Bunions can be diagnosed by appearance alone. The bump is usually seen at the base of the great toe or further up on the side of the foot. A physical exam may be all that is necessary; however, sometimes, the foot podiatrist or orthopaedic surgeon will do an x-ray of the foot to see what the bones look like or to see if the situation has progressed.

Bunions are considered a progressive condition, meaning you can start with a small bump that gradually gets bigger over time. The toes progressively move out of alignment, so they point outwards in severe cases.

Bunion Management

Bunions can be managed with or without surgery. If you have no symptoms, no treatment may be necessary. The podiatrist may follow the condition, doing x-rays every so often to see if it has progressed.

Other non-surgical remedies for bunion management can include the following:

  • Change your shoes. Instead of wearing tight high heels, you will need to buy shoes that are flatter and wider to accommodate the bump and keep the pressure off the joint.
  • Put padding over the bunion. This can relieve the pain. You can buy bunion padding at the pharmacy or get them from the podiatrist.
  • Stay off your feet. Because standing for a long time can worsen the condition, the podiatrist might recommend sitting more so there is less pressure on the affected joints.
  • Over-the-counter medicine. This can include taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as naproxen sodium or ibuprofen, which ease inflammation and lessen the pain.
  • Apply an ice pack. Ice packs applied to the bunion, especially when you are in pain, will decrease the pain and inflammation of the bunion so you can get back on your feet.
  • Corticosteroid injections. This is not often done, but if the bursa is inflamed (the sac of fluid near the joint), corticosteroids will be used to shrink the swelling and inflammation of the bursa.
  • These are custom-fit devices that support and protect the bunion and surrounding foot.

Surgery is sometimes recommended if the non-surgical treatments don’t effectively relieve the pain. Different types of surgery can be done, but the idea is to remove the bump and align the toes properly.

A podiatrist with a solid understanding of biomechanical imbalances can evaluate and assess your condition to recommend conservative, non-invasive bunion remedies. Make an appointment with The Foot Practice today for a consultation.

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Singapore 238882

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