A bunion (also referred to as hallux-abducto valgus–HAV) is often described as a bump on the side of the big toe. The visible bump is caused by changes to the big toe joint and the big toe (hallux) will begin to deviate towards the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. They develop gradually over time and many people will not experience any pain or discomfort unless the bunion is irritated by tight shoes that rub against it. However, over time this can become a fixed and rigid deformity.
Common causes for developing a bunion include:
- Hereditary factors (by far the biggest factor)
- Prolonged use of inappropriate footwear (i.e. shoes that are too narrow)
- Biomechanical factors
- Arthritis in the feet
At Gait Way Podiatry we will assess your bunion, your foot, gait, the severity of your condition, and go through the range of treatment options.
Some common treatments for bunions include:
- Custom orthotics – to assist with offloading areas that are being overloaded and worked and help realign the foot and prevent the toe from turning further inwards.
- Exercises to help improve the strength of some of the smaller muscles around the joint.
- Footwear advice – assess your footwear and give you appropriate advice to reduce bunion progression and pain.
- Joint mobilisation – involves using hands-on therapy to help improve the joint.
If pain persists, or worsens, we may refer you for a surgical opinion. Bunions are a very common issue we see in our clinic. If you’re suffering from pain or concerned about your bunion, feel free to get in touch as we can fully assess your issue and work with you to find the best solution.