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How Should Bunions Be Treated?

How Should Bunions Be Treated?

How Do You Treat a Bunion?

brighton bunionpic
A bunion,also known as hallux valgus, is seen as a bump popping out, usually from the inside of the big toe. This photograph is an extreme example, but the problem is clear: the big toe above the bump angles back toward the second toe. The bones inside the toe are out of alignment. The cause of bunion formation is from abnormal pressure on the joint that caused it to move out of place.

Abnormal pressure can arise from a congenital foot problem such as abnormal pronation of the foot (pronation is when the foot rolls inward during running or walking). Over pronation is the medical term for flat feet. A healthy foot functions as a rather inflexible tool that helps the body propel itself. When pronation occurs, there is too much flexibility and rigidity is compromised.

Conversely, foot supination is when the foot rolls outward.


Bunions are usually on the great toe but occur on the small toe as well. These are called "bunionettes" as they are smaller.

Bunions can be hereditary, can arise after a foot injury, and can be caused by diseases like arthritis.

Bunion disorders are progressive, which means the toe angles more and more over the years. It doesn’t guarantee you will have bothersome symptoms though; usually the symptoms are noted after some time has passed.


You can point out a bunion yourself, that bump on the big toe, right? For a complete evaluation you will likely have x-rays so your Podiatrist can determine the degree and progress of the deformity and assess your needs.


Sometimes you may not want treatment. If you are not having symptoms, it is understandable. Periodic evaluations are recommended though, just to protect your feet from unnecessary problems later. Some people seek treatment early, simply because they do not like the look of bunions.

Early treatments are aimed at easing the pain of bunions, but they won’t reverse the deformity itself. These options include :

  • Changing your shoes. Wear shoes with a wide toe box and not shoes those with pointed toes or high heels. I know…not easy.
  • Bunion pads.
  • Limit or stop activities that cause bunion pain. (Obviously.)
  • Icing the area several times a day helps reduce the swelling and pain. (I know, who has that kind of time?)
  • Injections are not usually used in bunion treatment, but sometimes corticosteroid injections help in treating the inflamed bursa (fluid-filled sac located in a joint) sometimes seen with bunions.
  • Individualized orthotic devices may be provided by your foot and ankle surgeon.
  • Surgery is the only definitive solution. Read our comprehensive foot surgery guide here so you will know just what to expect. Recovery time depends on the severity of the bunion and your own general health.

Still have questions?

Dr. Oz: Should You Say "Yes" to Bunion Surgery? - The Dr. Oz Show ... Mon, 06 Jan 2014 01:09:54 GMT

A bunion is a painful foot condition that develops due to an abnormal disposition of the big toe joint. This condition is very common in women and most of them undergo surgery to treat this condition. "Could the surgery actually ...

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How To Treat Bunions Part 1 Dr Paula Moore, online posture doctor shows you to improve the flexibility in the bunion joint.



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