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Particularly tight or narrow footwear may cause bunions.Bunions are abnormalities of the feet that cause a bump to develop on the large toe joint. This can cause the big toe to turn slightly inward. Doctors call bunions “hallux valgus”. Women are more likely to have bunions due to increased pressures from narrow footwear.


• Wearing tight or narrow shoes can cause bunions to develop. Tight shoes put pressure on the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP), which is where the bone of the foot meets the bone of the big toe.

• Having a family history of bunions is also a risk factor. Additionally, some conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis or polio, increase the likelihood of developing a bunion.


• An individual with a bunion may have one or more of the following symptoms:

• visible bump on the side of the foot

• tenderness on or around the big toe

• callus or corn on the bone below the big toe

• difficulty moving the big toe

• pain in the big toe when walking


• Conservative treatment measures will usually improve the symptoms of a bunion. A person should wear properly fitting shoes without high heels. They can also buy a bunion pad at a shoe store or drugstore that protects the bunion from extra pressure.

• Applying ice for 10-minute increments with a cloth-covered ice pack can also reduce inflammation.

• A doctor who specializes in foot care known as a podiatrist can prescribe custom-made shoe inserts or a splint that can straighten the big toe. If a person’s bunion does not subside and causes continued pain, they may choose to have surgery to correct it.


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Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine


P.O. Box 62026

Burlington RPO, Burlington Mall

Burlington, ON L7R 4K2


Phone:  1-888-706-4444

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