Painful bunions

Bunions appear as a large bump on the inside of the foot at the base of the big toe.

They can often be painful when walking, cause skin irritation like corns, callus and blisters. Larger bunions can make finding suitable footwear difficult.

What is a bunion?

Medically it is referred to as hallux abducto-valgus deformity. This simply means the great toe (hallux) is drifting outwards on the foot. The abducto valgus is referring to the angulation that the bunion forms.

What causes them?

Bunions are sometimes genetic. Other conditions that may contribute to their formation are flat feet, hypermobility, rheumatoid arthritis and the old wives tale 'poorly fitting shoes'. Bunions can alter the foot's biomechanics, which may put increased pressure on other body parts such as the knee, hip and back. Sometimes they have osteoarthritis which can restrict the movement at that joint and cause pain.

Treatment?

At Bounce Podiatry we recommend appropriate footwear that has enough width and depth to accommodate the bunion. The use of orthotics can improve the foot alignment and reduce some of the pressure at the bunion. We provide physical therapies such as low level laser therapy to reduce localised joint inflammation and pain, myofascial release to reduce tightness in the muscles supporting the bunion and clever strapping techniques to provide immediate support. Depending on the severity of the bunion surgery may be warranted. We are able to refer you for this if it is required.