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Causes of a Bunion and How to Manage It

If you have a bump forming at the base of your big toe or experience discomfort while wearing certain shoes, you might be dealing with a bunion. This foot deformity, medically known as hallux valgus, develops gradually due to various factors. Included are genetics, wearing tight or high-heeled footwear, rheumatoid arthritis, or Marfan’s syndrome, which causes a loosening of joints. Symptoms of a bunion are a noticeable bump, pain, and redness of the big toe. Corns or calluses, limited toe movement, and a burning sensation or numbness may also occur. While initial treatment involves wearing proper footwear, more severe cases may require custom orthotics, toe spreaders, or surgery. A podiatrist can offer guidance on ways to manage symptoms, prevent further complications, and determine if surgery is needed to realign the toe and alleviate pressure on the joint. If you have a bunion that is causing pain or impeding daily activities, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options.

If you are suffering from bunion pain, contact our podiatrist of Dr. Powers Foot and Ankle. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Is a Bunion?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that usually develop on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe. As the deformity increases over time, it may become painful to walk and wear shoes. Women are more likely to exacerbate existing bunions since they often wear tight, narrow shoes that shift their toes together. Bunion pain can be relieved by wearing wider shoes with enough room for the toes.


  • Genetics – some people inherit feet that are more prone to bunion development
  • Inflammatory Conditions – rheumatoid arthritis and polio may cause bunion development


  • Redness and inflammation
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Callus or corns on the bump
  • Restricted motion in the big toe

In order to diagnose your bunion, your podiatrist may ask about your medical history, symptoms, and general health. Your doctor might also order an x-ray to take a closer look at your feet. Nonsurgical treatment options include orthotics, padding, icing, changes in footwear, and medication. If nonsurgical treatments don’t alleviate your bunion pain, surgery may be necessary.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Bloomington, Bedford, and Washington, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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