Why does my bunion hurt?

Do you often find yourself experiencing pain or discomfort in the joint at the base of your big toe? Does it appear swollen, red, or misaligned? You might be dealing with a common foot condition known as bunions. While bunions may seem like a minor inconvenience, they can significantly impact your quality of life if left untreated. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the signs and symptoms, causes, and how podiatrists can provide effective treatment for bunions.

What Are Bunions?

Bunions, medically referred to as Hallux Valgus, are bony protrusions that develop at the base of the big toe. They occur when the big toe leans towards the second toe, causing the joint to protrude outwards. This misalignment can result in inflammation, pain, and difficulty with footwear, making simple tasks like walking or standing uncomfortable.

Signs and Symptoms of Bunions:

  • Visible bump: A noticeable bump on the inside of the foot at the base of the big toe.
  • Pain and tenderness: The affected area may feel sore, tender, or painful, especially when wearing shoes or walking.
  • Redness and swelling: Inflammation and swelling around the bunion can cause redness and discomfort.
  • Restricted movement: Bunions can limit the range of motion of the big toe, making it difficult to bend or flex it properly.
  • Corn and callus formation: Due to friction and pressure from footwear, corns and calluses may develop over the bunion.

Causes of Bunions:

Several factors can contribute to the development of bunions, including:

  • Genetics: Bunions can run in families, indicating a genetic predisposition to the condition.
  • Footwear: Tight, narrow shoes or high heels can force the toes into an unnatural position, increasing the risk of bunions.
  • Foot structure: Flat feet, low arches, or conditions like arthritis can alter the mechanics of the foot, leading to bunions.
  • Injury or trauma: Previous foot injuries or trauma can damage the joint, resulting in bunion formation.

How Podiatrists Can Help:

Podiatrists are healthcare professionals specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of foot disorders, including bunions. Here’s how they can assist:

  • Diagnosis: Podiatrists will conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your foot, including physical examination and possibly imaging tests like X-rays, to accurately diagnose bunions.
  • Treatment options: Depending on the severity of the bunion and your symptoms, podiatrists may recommend various treatment approaches, including:
    • Orthotic devices: Custom orthotics can help redistribute pressure on the foot and correct abnormal foot mechanics.
    • Footwear modifications: Podiatrists may advise wearing supportive, properly fitting shoes with a wide toe box to alleviate pressure on the bunion.
    • Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with bunions.
    • Surgery: In severe cases where conservative treatments fail to provide relief, surgical intervention may be necessary to realign the toe joint and remove the bony prominence.


Bunions can be more than just a cosmetic concern—they can cause significant discomfort and impact your daily activities. If you’re experiencing symptoms of bunions, it’s essential to seek professional help from a qualified podiatrist. With their expertise and specialized treatments, podiatrists can help alleviate pain, improve foot function, and prevent further progression of bunions, allowing you to enjoy life without the limitations imposed by foot discomfort. Don’t let bunions hold you back—take the first step towards healthier, happier feet today.