Living with Bunions

Emily Mah ​​ ​ Thursday, 16 February 2017

Bunions are painful and unsightly bone deformities which commonly affect men and women from the age of adolescence. That being said, juvenile bunions are not uncommon either. Bunions develop and progressively worsen over time and remain as a fixed bone deformity. Many have the misconception that bunions are caused by ‘extra bone’ at the big toe joint of the foot. This condition is caused by the deviating position of the 1st metatarsal. Bunion deformities can be non-surgically (conservatively) managed by podiatrists. Podiatrist helps to slow down bunion progression and relieve pain through treatment and offloading. Severe cases of bunion may require surgical intervention.

Painful bunions

Bunion pain can be bothering and unbearable. Think of the times on how uncomfortable it was constantly stepping on a little stone in your shoe. Similarly, pain in the entire big toe joint evidently will lead to a more significant and excruciating impact. Pain in the bunions can be reduced if the cause of the bunion is diagnosed accurately. Symptomatic bunions can be caused by different factors including; joint wear and tear, tendon strain or aggravation, or friction against the bony prominence. The right treatment can then be prescribed in order to offer pain relief.


Preventing bunions altogether and arresting the progression of bunions are possible. The development of bunions occurs due to improper foot mechanics. Imbalances in the feet can cause excessive pressure, strain and instability relating to the 1st metatarsal, eventually leading to the subluxation of that particular bone. Custom orthotics can be designed specifically to correct and optimise the mechanics of the foot. Prescription-only orthotics will be able to arrest the bunions to stop or slow down its progression.


Many relate their bunion problems to incorrect footwear, there are elements of truth in these. Apart from incorrect fitting, we must also bear in mind that mass production of footwear hinders the support shoes can offer. However, with functional orthotics, these can be prescribed based on each person’s lifestyle and footwear choices. Many women worry that they have to let go of their fashionable ballet flats or high heels. With the right expertise, orthotics for bunion prevention can be designed to accommodate to Ferragamos, Manolos, Louboutins or just about any pairs of shoes within reason.

In summary, it is not all doom and gloom when living with bunions. Bunion pain can be resolved. Also, preventing its occurrences do not require surgery. Podiatrists of East Coast Podiatry Centre are equipped with the right knowledge and technology to address these problems.

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