As the hallux, or big toe, deviates further and further inward, a bony prominence starts to develop on the outside, over the metatarsal bone. This is called a bunion.
Symptoms typically include pain at the joint at the base of the big toe when wearing certain shoes, usually with redness, tenderness or swelling. Eventually, the big toe begins to change shape, curving inwards and restricting joint motion.
Although bunions are not always hereditary, genetics can make you more likely to develop them. Tight-fitting footwear like high-heels and narrow-toed shoes, excessive pronating, and rolling inwards on the ankles can often increase the risk of bunion formation.
The only true way to remove a bunion is with surgery, but there are other non-invasive methods to treat them. Bunion cushions and shields offer pain relief, and wearing shoes with a wide and deep toe box allows room for the bunion, easing pressure on it.