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Foot Facts: Bunions


A bunion is an abnormal, bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. Bunions form when your big toe pushes up against your other toes, forcing your big toe joint in the opposite direction, away from the normal profile of your foot. Over time, the abnormal position enlarges your big toe joint, further crowding your other toes and causing pain.


Bunions can occur for a number of reasons, but a common cause is wearing shoes that are too tight. Bunions can also develop as a result of an inherited structural defect or stress on your foot or a medical condition, such as arthritis.


Smaller bunions — bunionettes — can also develop on the joint of your little toes.



  • Enlarged joint at the base of the big toe

  • Big toe begins to shift toward other toes

  • Redness and swelling of the big toe joint

  • Restricted movement and/or pain in the big toe

  • Calluses forming on the side of the big toe


Caused By:

  • Footwear that is not the natural shape of the foot

  • Pronation - Rolling towards the medial side (inside) of the foot

  • Narrow and/or pointed shoes

  • Some hereditary traits



  • Choose footwear with a natural foot shape

  • Orthotics to stabilize the medial arch

  • Seek medical opinion if pain persists

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