What Causes A Bunion?

what causes a bunion

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what causes a bunionBunions, medically known as hallux valgus, are a common foot deformity in which the big toe is pushed out of place. The first metatarsophalangeal joint (big toe joint) eventually starts to stick out, while the big toe is deviated towards the rest of your toes. The bony lump that forms on the side of your foot can become painful and swollen, limiting your mobility. Although symptoms of a bunion can be relieved without surgery, correcting the deformity does require a surgical procedure. Have you ever wondered what causes a bunion?

Do We Know Why?

Many people all over the world suffer from bunions, and yet, many people don’t know why they develop. Even worse, they fail to recognise the early symptoms of a bunion and continue to carry out the harmful habits that led them to develop the bunion in the first place. So, read on if you want to find out what causes a bunion.


Women are usually the most common victims of bunions. This is because many women wear narrow, tight, pointed shoes. These shoes don’t allow your big toe to maintain its normal position, causing it to be pushed towards the rest of your toes. This increases the pressure that the first metatarsophalangeal joint has to bear, as well as weakening the intrinsic foot muscles, thus causing a bunion. It’s even worse when said shoes are high heels, since the foot tends to slide forward, increasing the pressure on your joints and toes even further.


That is why shoes with proper support and wide toe-boxes are always recommended by podiatrists. If you prefer wearing heels, or must wear them in certain circumstances, look for shoes that support your ankle and have a front platform in order to reduce the pressure on your toes. Additionally, make sure you’re not wearing heels at all times. Give your feet regular breaks and wear flat, comfortable, and supportive shoes on your days off.

Foot Function

Poor foot function will put abnormal stress around the big toe joint which can further progress the bunion shape.  Poor foot function is attributed to both weak and under active foot muscles as well as genetic bony alignment.  These can both be corrected with foot strengthening and custom orthotics. 


There are other conditions that can cause bunions. People with any type of arthritis –rheumatoid, psoriatic, osteoarthritis, gout, amongst others- are far more likely to develop bunions. Some people, unfortunately, have a higher risk of developing bunions simply because of the way their feet are shaped. A podiatrist will be able to determine if the shape of your feet puts you at risk of bunions, and how to avoid them.

If you understand what causes bunions, it will be much easier for you to avoid them. Look for adequate shoes, orthotics and strengthen your feet and toes, and you will have nice, healthy feet!

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