Symptoms and treatment of bunions

Symptoms and treatment for bunions

Bunions are something, which does not come to your mind, when you think about potential foot problems. Although they mostly affect women (because women’s narrow shoes, such as high heels are a common aggravator of bunions), men can get them too. Read further to get more information about bunions; what they are, what are their symptoms, and effective pain relief and treatment.


What are Bunions?

Bunions are bony bumps that form at the joint on top of your big toe. Medical name for Bunions is ‘hallux valgus’ and if you have a bunion, your big toe will absurdly angle towards the second toe, creating an unnecessary bump. Bunions can turn out to be extremely painful, because complete body weight comes down to the bunion, when you walk.

What are the Causes of Bunions?

Causes of Bunions include:

  • Foot injuries under effect of strenuous activity, such as playing sport, trekking, etc.
  • Congenital deformities
  • Arthritis
  • Age
  • Having flat feet

People with definite foot structure are also susceptive to bunions, because they are often caused by a defective mechanical structure of the foot.

Contrary to what some people may believe, shoes are not the cause of bunions, but they can aggravate them. Ill-fitting or narrow shoes, such as high-heels, can make your toes crowded in the shoe and force them into each other, possibly aggravating a pre-existing condition and thus causing a bunion.

What are the Symptoms of Bunions?

Most common symptoms of bunions include:


  • A bump on the top of your big toe at the joint
  • Soreness, swelling and redness around the big toe
  • Decreased motion and chronic or intermittent pain around your big toe.
  • Development of corns or calluses underneath your big toe joint
  • The area around the bunion may become shiny and warm in touch

Pain Relief & Treatment for Bunions

Treatment for bunions depend upon its severity and the amount of pain caused by it. Treatment options can include:

  • Changing shoes – Switching to comfortable pair of shoes having more spaces for your toes will ease the direct pressure on the toe and will stop them from rubbing together
  • Applying ice – Applying ice on your feet after standing for long hours, will help relieve the pain caused by the inflamed bunion.
  • Providing Warmth – When it comes to bunions, applying cold is not the only remedy, applying warmth in form of heating pad or taking warm footbath may be useful too.
  • However, if the bunion turns out to be extremely severe, surgery is the most advisable option

In most cases, the above-mentioned treatments will be beneficial in pain relief and in normal cases, these treatments will do the needful. However, in severe conditions bunions becomes unbearable and undergoing a surgery may be the most appropriate action. You must seek medical advice if you have a bunion and are considering a surgery. In case you undergo a surgery, then it will be important to wear proper shoes to prevent recurrence of bunion. It is advised to avoid narrow shoes after having a surgery.

How do I prevent bunions?

Taking precaution measures can help you prevent formation of bunions, following tips serve as useful measures:


  • Along with treatment for bunions relief, wearing sensible shoes and using appropriate insoles can make your shoes more comfortable and prevent your toes from rubbing.
  • If you wear heels, try wearing them only on specific occasions. However, if you wear them daily, you should wear heels with a height of 4cm or lesser.
  • Choose a footwear that can be fastened with strap or laces, as this will keep your foot firm and secure, and it will stop your foot from sliding forward and your toes rubbing together.
  • Doing regular foot exercises can strengthen them and make your skin tougher and less prone to bunions. Picking up small objects, such as a pebble or pencil, with your toes can be helpful.
  • Bunions take time to develop, so it is advisable to start taking good care of your feet from childhood and early adulthood. This will reduce the risk of developing them later in life. If your family has a history of foot related problems, it is important to keep a track of how your feet has been developing over a period of time.