Many people think a bunion is a simple bone prominence by the big toe. Actually, a bunion can be a progressive deformity of bones and joints.
These mal-aligned structures can cause a painful “bump,” but can also cause functional problems, leading to other regions of foot pain.
Bunions develop slowly. Pressure on the big toe joint causes the big toe to lean toward the second toe. Over time, the normal structure of the bone changes, resulting in the bunion bump. This deformity will gradually increase and may make it painful to wear shoes or walk.
Anyone can get a bunion, but they are more common in women. Many women wear tight, narrow shoes that squeeze the toes together—which makes it more likely for a bunion to develop, worsen and cause painful symptoms.
In most cases, bunion pain is relieved by wearing wider shoes with adequate toe room and using other simple treatments to reduce pressure on the big toe.