Bunion Treatment: Stop Your Bunion From Getting Worse

Bunion Treatment: Stop Your Bunion From Getting Worse

Is your bunion starting to make it difficult for you to fit shoes comfortably? You may have had your bunion for years and now be getting callus or pain around that bump on the inside of the ball of your foot, or your bunion may be very new and you want to stop it from getting worse.

So what should you do, why have you developed a bunion in the first place, and is it worthwhile taking action to treat your bunion – how much worse could it get? Today, we’re talking all about bunions!

First: What is a bunion?

A bunion is the name for the bony bulge on the inside border of your foot, by the big toe. It’s where the toe meets the metatarsal bone, the long bone in the middle of your foot. In a bunion, this joint starts changing position, with the big toe turning inwards towards the other toes and the metatarsal bone facing outwards. 

Why have I developed a bunion?

This question can sometimes be a little bit like asking what has caused your stomach ache, as there are a number of potential causes. These include:


If your parent or grandparent has a bunion, it may mean that you are more likely to have one too. It’s not so much the ‘bunion’ that runs in the family, but the characteristics of your feet and their structure, like your bone shape or foot type. Imagine you have a flat foot type and are rolling inwards with every step: this means you continually press onto the big toe, and this can lead to a bunion developing over time. 


Footwear is a big cause when it comes to bunions. Specifically, wearing tight, heeled, narrow, pointed or unsupportive shoes every day that squeeze your forefoot can keep the toes compressed inwards and lead to a bunion.

Other causes can include foot instability, having very flexible feet and joints, having arthritic joints and other medical conditions.

How bad do bunions get?

When bunions first start out, they tend to be more flexible. Flexible means that if you pull your big toe out to the side, it will move without any restrictions. As your bunion progresses, it may at some point turn rigid. Rigid bunions can’t be moved like flexible bunions, staying stiff and firmly in place. This reflects what’s happening within the joint, which will have been degrading and changing over time.

Aside from moving from being flexible to rigid, bunions also change in how severely the toe is angled and how much the bunion protrudes. Unless bunions are cared for or the causes are addressed, they’ll gradually worsen over time. Here’s a severity chart – notice how the big toe starts moving between the other toes and moving them out of place as time goes on.

Do bunions cause pain?

Yes they can, over time. This may occur when the change in the shape and width of your forefoot makes it difficult for you to walk comfortably or fit inside of footwear. Your shoes may constantly be rubbing against the bunion, and it’ll quickly become painful. You may notice redness, corns or calluses developing along the side of the bunion.

How can I help my bunion?

Treating and helping a bunion means understanding what is likely to have caused it to develop, and what is continuing to keep it progressing. Then, working to manage these causes. This is done through a foot, leg and gait assessment.

If you have flat feet and roll inwards, and this rolling keeps pressing against the bunion, then stopping you from rolling in can help slow the progression of the bunion. If it’s your shoes that are causing pain and compressing your toes, then we’ll look at shoes that can comfortably accommodate bunions without worsening the problem.

If you’re worried that your bunion is too severe and nothing will help, then we reframe the goal from helping slow progression or helping straighten the bunion, to optimising your comfort on your feet and taking care of any corns or calluses that are worsening your pain and problems.

Can you prevent a bunion before it starts?

Potentially, we may be able to help prevent it or slow down the rate it develops by alleviating excess pressure and forces from the big toe, which may be forcing the joint into a suboptimal position. We’ll let you know what we can do to help during your assessment.

Worried about bunions?

Take it one step at a time. Come in for a foot assessment and we’ll get to know what’s happening with your gait and the forces acting on your feet. We’ll discuss your results, your bunion severity or risks, and go over all of your treatment options, doing everything we can to help you get the best result and the most comfort for your bunion.

Book your appointment by calling 03 972 2927.

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