A bunion is a valgus deformity of the big toe. What this means is that the base of the big toe moves outwards and the tip of the big toe moves in towards the little toes - a crooked big toe! A bunion is an irreversible deformity of the big toe. It is an alignment that can be improved with orthotics and can be corrected with surgery.
· Pain at the bottom of the big toe
· Pain when bending the big toe
· Tenderness at the base of the big toe
· Swelling at the base of the big toe
· Difficulty when walking or weight bearing on the front of the foot.
A bunion may occur due to several causes. Two of the most common causes are persistently wearing of shoes that are narrow in the toe box. Bunions are also common in over pronating feet as when the arch collapses the foot rolls inwards and when you push off on the big toe it gets pushed on an angle towards the second and third toes. Orthotic insoles can help by supporting the arch, and improving the foots posture and functioning. This can correct the alignment of the force, reducing the deformity of the bunion.
Depending on the degree of foot pronation, over-the-counter or custom made orthotic insoles may be helpful. In a mildly pronated foot over-the-counter orthotic insoles may be more suitable, however in moderate to severe overpronation a more supportive and custom made orthotic insoles will be required. A bunion is commonly associated with reduced movement of the big toe first joint, if this occurs a reverse Morton’s extension will be required to preserve the movement - these are most common in custom made orthotic insoles .