What is a bunion?

Bunion foot pain

What are bunions?

Bunions, sometimes known as Hallux Valgus, are caused by the tip of your big toe moving inwards towards your other toes and the base of the toe moving outwards creating a bony lump on the side of your foot. This results in the big toe joint becoming enlarged and more prominent, it may become painful or inflamed and can be irritated by tight-fitting footwear.

What causes bunions?

Wearing tight, narrow shoes can cause bunions or make them worse. Bunions can also occur as a result of the shape of your foot, a foot deformity, or a medical condition, such as arthritis.

It is also possible to develop bunions on your little toe, these are called Tailor’s Bunions and occur when your little toe points inwards towards your middle toes causing a bony prominence on the outside of your foot.

Relief from bunion pain

Ease the discomfort of bunions by ensuring your feet are correctly supported to reduce pressure on the bunion area. Avoid narrow footwear and select shoes with a roomy toe box to reduce the pressure on your toes and allow them adequate room.  It is important to ensure that the arches of your feet are suitably supported to stop them from rolling inwards and placing further pressure on the bunion joint.  Orthotic insoles such as the Pedistep 2/3 Length are designed to support your feet and may help prevent bunions from progressing further.

Pressure on the big toe joint and existing bunions may be relieved by gel cushioning products which provide an interface to reduce friction and impact pressure from footwear.  The Podopro Bunion Toe Spreader is a 2 in 1 product that uses a soft and flexible gel to cushion the bunion area and a firmer gel spreader to support the big toe in a more natural position. 

Also available is the Podopro 5th Toe Bunion Guard which is designed to cushion Tailor’s Bunions on your little toe.

Gel cushioning is also available in sleeve style supports such as the Epitact Bunion Protector, this fits comfortably over your foot and features a gel pad that conforms to the shape of your bunion.  It is only 1mm thick and will fit comfortably into most shoe types to protect the bunion area from friction and pressure. 

Foot supports such as the Orthosleeve HV3 Bunion Bracing Sleeve are designed to deliver extra support for your big toe and relief from bunion pain simultaneously.  Orthosleeve’s patented compression zone technology, together with a light flexible toe splint supports your foot in position and reduces swelling around the big toe and ball of the foot.  The Orthosleeve HV3 Bunion Sleeve is constructed from soft nylon fabric, allowing it to be worn with footwear to support your daily activities.  

If you are suffering from foot pain or concerned about your feet, we recommend you contact your local Podiatrist.

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