About one in three Americans have bunions, and most don’t even know it!

Have you recently discovered a strange lump on or near your big toe? If so, then you’re likely wondering what it is and what you can do to treat it.

Our feet bear the brunt of our weight every day. Don’t make the mistake of letting a lump on your foot cause chronic pain. Instead, read on to get informed about what bunions are and how to treat them.


What are bunions?

If you’re researching bunions, then you’ve likely noticed the most obvious symptom. Bunions are a type of deformity that causes a noticeable lump near your big toe. You also might start to see your big toe curving inward.

Without treatment, shoes can put more strain on a budding bunion. The anatomy of a bunion shows the extra stress you’re putting on your misaligned joint. Over time, you’ll start to notice other symptoms like:

  • Foot pain
  • Damage to your other toes
  • Developing corns
  • Developing hammertoes
  • Ingrown toenails

At its heart, bunions start as a misaligned bone. The bone puts pressure on your joint, which becomes misaligned, too. Then, the entire joint and surrounding tissue become inflamed.

If your big toe area is always stiff and painful, there’s a good chance you’re suffering from bunions.

What Causes Bunions?

So, what causes bunions to form? Researchers still aren’t clear on the exact causes, but there are many theories.

For one, bunions appear to be hereditary. That means you’re more likely to develop bunions if they run in the family.

You’re also more likely to get bunions if you’ve suffered a foot injury in the past. If you have foot deformities, then you’re also likely to develop bunions. Any inflammatory condition, like arthritis, can also lead to bunions.

Some experts believe that narrow or ill-fitting shoes can also contribute to developing bunions.

Treatment options

Minor foot issues don’t seem that minuscule at all when you need your feet on a daily basis. There’s good news, though, because there are several ways to treat bunions.

To start, you’ll want to have an evaluation with a licensed foot and ankle doctor. They’ll recommend treatment based on your x-ray results.


Conservative care might include things like:

  • Wearing accommodating shoes
  • Using pads and shields to reduce discomfort
  • Orthotics (prescription medical devices)
  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Ice packs/warm soaks
  • Massages

If you’ve already tried to remedy the situation and it’s getting worse, then there are more options. You may decide to try a cortisone injection to help reduce inflammation. In the most serious cases, you may choose to have surgery.

Looking Towards a Healthier Year in 2021

Sometimes, bunions are painless and overlooked. More often, they start causing chronic pain when you walk, toe deviations, and even calf pain.

Don’t suffer in silence. If there’s anything we learned from 2020, it’s that we need to focus on our physical health. Take a step in the right direction by seeking out treatment today.

At Foot and Ankle Physicians, we know how difficult it is to live with bunions. That’s why we offer comprehensive care that ranges from shields to surgery. Schedule an online appointment now by filling out our contact form.