Understanding Bunion Treatment: Symptoms, Causes & Non-Surgical Treatments | Podiatrist Treatment Options

Understanding Bunion Treatment: Symptoms, Causes & Non-Surgical Treatments

Understanding Bunion Care: Symptoms, Causes & Non-Surgical Treatments

A common foot deformity called bunions shows up as a noticeable bump on the inside edge of the foot. They can be painful and make it hard to move around.

There are many things that can cause this, from genetics to shoes that don’t fit right. Surgery is a last resort option, but there are also a number of non-surgical podiatrist options that can help.

Defining Bunions: A Closer Look

Medically known as hallux valgus, bunions are bony protrusions that happen at the base of the big toe joint. They are caused by bones in the foot being out of place. This problem can make the big toe lean in towards the other toes, which can be painful and change the way the foot works.

Genetics, inherited tendencies, and the shoes you wear can all affect how likely you are to get bunions. In the early stages of bunions, pain, swelling, and redness are common signs that you should see a doctor and maybe get bunion treatment.

Self-care for a bunion is an important part of controlling symptoms and stopping the condition from getting worse. This usually means making changes to the way you live, like getting shoes with wide toe boxes and good arch support, which can help align your feet better and ease bunion pain.

When you have a bunion, we also suggest that you do exercises and wear orthotics. These can help reinforce good foot mechanics and reduce inflammation. To avoid more problems like hammertoe, it’s important to know how to treat bunions properly. This means that early detection and treatment are very important.

Identifying Bunion Conditions & Symptoms

Once you know what bunions are and how they form, it’s important to be able to spot their signs and get quick, effective treatment. Bunions are marked by a bone sticking out at the base of the big toe. They can show up in a number of different ways.

  • Pain

    One of the most common symptoms is pain, particularly at the joint where the bunion is located. This pain may intensify during walking or when pressure is applied.

  • Inflammation

    Inflammation and redness at the base of the big toe joint are often noticeable, accompanying the pronounced bulge that typifies a bunion.

  • Limited Range of Motion

    Alongside these, a limited range of motion in the big toe and discomfort while wearing shoes are further indicators.

  • Corns & Calluses

    As the condition progresses, individuals may notice thickened skin, corns, or calluses developing over the bunion area.

  • Tingling Sensation

    In more advanced cases, numbness or a tingling sensation in the toes may be experienced.

  • Swelling & Tenderness

    Moreover, swelling, tenderness, and difficulty finding comfortable footwear due to the enlarging bunion can significantly impact an individual's daily life.

Understanding these symptoms is the first step to obtaining relief and managing the condition effectively.

Understanding the Causes of Bunions

Looking into the root causes of bunions, it becomes clear that these unpleasant foot deformities stem from a variety of factors, primarily the misalignment of bones at the metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) of the big toe.

  • This misalignment, often influenced by genetic predisposition, results in the formation of a bony protrusion, known as a bunion.

  • However, genetics is just one piece of the puzzle. Foot structure, for instance, plays a significant role.

  • People with low arches, flat feet, or loose joints and tendons are more prone to developing bunions.

  • Inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, can also exacerbate the problem, as they cause pain and swelling in the MTP joint.

  • Equally significant is the role of footwear. Tight, narrow shoes, especially high heels, compress the toes, thereby increasing the risk of bunions.

  • Foot trauma and certain foot deformities present at birth can also contribute to their formation.

Exploring Non-Surgical Bunion Treatments - Lifestyle, Exercises, Footwear & Foot Orthotics

There are a number of non-surgical ways to treat bunions that aim to ease pain, reduce inflammation, and stop the condition from getting worse. Some of these are making changes to your lifestyle, doing prescribed foot exercises, using orthotics, and wearing the right shoes.

As an alternative to surgery for treating bunions, making changes to how you live can help a lot with your symptoms. Keeping your weight at a healthy level can ease the pain in your feet by lowering the pressure on them.

A bunion should not be squeezed into tight shoes that hurt it, like high heels or shoes with small toe boxes. Choose shoes instead that have wide toe boxes, good arch support, and soles that are padded. Adding padding or orthotic inserts can also help spread the pressure more evenly across your foot, which can help you feel better.

Adding physical therapy to your routine can also help your feet work better and be more flexible, which can help you deal with bunions without surgery. These changes can help ease the symptoms and significantly slow the condition from getting worse.

There are many effective exercises that are designed to strengthen the muscles in your feet and make them more flexible. This can help a lot with the pain that comes from having a bunion. The goal of these exercises is to keep your toes in the right place and stop them from getting worse.

Stretching routines that focus on the calf muscles, toes, and arches can improve the health of your feet overall and ease the pain of bunions. Toe scrunches and exercises with resistance bands make your feet much stronger and more stable, which is important for treating bunions.

Following through with these exercises on a regular basis not only eases the pain but also stops the bunion from getting worse. If you do these exercises correctly and regularly, they can help you deal with bunions without surgery, which can also improve your overall health and foot alignment.

Credit to Rehab Science for this useful video on Bunion Exercises.

Besides doing exercises to help with bunions, wearing the right shoes and using orthotics are two more non-surgical ways to treat the condition.

Orthotics are custom-made devices that support the arch, spread pressure, and straighten the foot. They can make the foot work better and put a lot less stress on the big toe joint. Also, picking out the right shoes is just as important.

Bunion pain can be eased by shoes with wide toe boxes and cushioning, and further deformity can be avoided by shoes with good arch support. Choosing shoes that let your toes move around can help keep the bunion from hurting and improve the health of your feet overall.

Orthotics and the right shoes are very important for relieving symptoms and stopping the condition from getting worse as part of a complete plan for managing bunions.

Footwear: Its Impact on Bunions

Without a doubt, the shoes a person wears can have a big effect on how bunions develop and how they are treated. Bunions, which are marked by a bump of bone at the base of the big toe, can be very painful and make it hard to do normal things. If you don’t choose the right shoes, these symptoms could get worse, causing a lot of pain and making it hard to do things.

Shoes that are too tight and narrow, especially high heels, can make bunion pain worse by putting the toes in an awkward, squished position. This stress on the big toe joint not only makes the pain worse, but it can also make the toe more out of alignment, which helps the bunion get worse.

Wearing shoes with a wide toe box and low (if any) heels is the ideal choice of footwear.

On the other hand, shoes that fit well and have a wide toe box can help a lot with bunion pain and discomfort. Giving the toes enough room keeps the bunion from getting more stressed, which reduces inflammation and swelling.

Also, shoes with enough cushioning and arch support can help improve foot biomechanics by reducing stress on the metatarsophalangeal joint.

Finally, choosing shoes that fit the natural shape of your foot is very important for effectively treating bunions and slowing them from getting worse.


To sum up, bunions are a common foot problem that are mostly caused by genetics and wearing the wrong shoes. Non-surgical treatments like bunion pads, ice packs, and choosing the right shoes can help ease the pain.

A tree does best when it has enough support and room to grow. The foot does the same. The right shoes can be an important support system that slows bunions from getting worse and improves overall foot health.

You don’t need to put up with Bunion pain any longer.  Call us today on (03) 4240 5231 or book online and let us get you back on your feet pain free and walking with confidence once again with our Bunion treatments.


Understand what causes your bunions and what you can do about them. Find out what treatments can get you back to walking pain free so you can enjoy living an active life again!

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