Bunions is a term used to describe a “bump” on the side of the big toe. But this bump is actually the result of a change in the alignment of the big toe joint. Instead of pointing straight ahead the big toe leans towards your second toe, causing the bump. Its correct medical term is hallux valgus. Bunions are a progressive disorder, gradually changing the angle of the bones. Usually the symptoms appear at later stages, although some people never have symptoms.

Contributing factors

  • Inherited faulty mechanical structure of the foot – they often run in the family.
  • Poor choice of footwear. Wearing very pointed and shallow shoes around at toe box shoes through time can potentially exacerbate bunions.


  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • A burning sensation
  • Perhaps some numbness

Other conditions which may appear with bunions include calluses on the big toe, sores or corns between the toes, ingrown toenails, and restricted motion of the toe.

Treatment options

Generally treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself. Your podiatrist will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment plan. Common modalities used include Changes in footwear, padding, strapping, debridement of panful callosities, physical therapies and orthotics.