Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

A bunion (also referred to as hallux valgus) is often described as a bump on the side of the base of the big toe.
The visible bump is caused by the big toe leaning in towards the second toe, changing the alignment of the joint at the base of the big toe, leading to a visible bump. This condition can be quite painful and make it difficult for shoes to fit. For those with an established bunion, it is important to seek footwear with extra room in the “toe box” area of the shoe to avoid compression of the foot at this spot.

Bunions are usually caused by a variety of biomechanical abnormalities of the foot and are a progressive condition. Poorly fitting footwear is often blamed, but bunions also occur in people whose culture it is not to use footwear. Development of bunions in those who always go barefoot demonstrates the biomechanical nature of the problem. At IONA Physiotherapy, a comprehensive biomechanical assessment will be carried out to determine the cause of your bunion.

Correction of this biomechanical problem with an orthotic can help slow the progression of the bunion and make your foot more comfortable to walk on but it will not get rid of the bunion if it has already started. Surgery is reserved for extreme cases.