A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. It occurs when some of the bones in the front part of your foot move out of place. This causes the tip of your big toe to get pulled toward the smaller toes and forces the joint at the base of your big toe to stick out. The skin over the bunion might be red and sore.

Wearing tight, narrow shoes might cause bunions or make them worse. Bunions can also develop as a result of the shape of your foot, a foot deformity or a medical condition, such as arthritis. Smaller bunions (bunionettes) can develop on the joint of your little toe.

Comparison of bunion before and after correction surgery.jpg

Wearing sensible shoes that fit well is a good preventative measure. If you notice a bump developing where your big toe joins the foot, it may be time to switch your footwear. Try to opt for wider shoes that provide your toes with room to move and keep your heel height to no more than 4cm for maximum comfort. The following also serves as a useful guide:

  • Avoid backless, high-heeled shoes. Backless shoes force your toes to claw as you walk, straining the muscles if worn over a long period

  • Vary your heel heights from day to day, one day wearing low heels and the next day slightly higher heels

  • If you want to wear a heel every day, keep heel heights to 4cm or less

  • Wearing a shoe with a strap or lace over the instep holds the foot secure and helps stop your foot sliding forward

  • Calf stretches to counteract the shortening of the calf can help to keep feet supple

If you experience any foot care issues that do not resolve themselves naturally or through routine foot care within three weeks, you should seek the help of a healthcare professional.