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What is a bunion?

Bunions, medically called hallux valgus, are a common foot deformity characterized by a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe. This protrusion occurs when the big toe leans towards the second toe, causing the joint at the base of the big toe to protrude outwards. Bunions can be painful and inflamed, making it challenging to wear certain types of shoes or engage in physical activities comfortably.

A close up of a ballerina's feet in point shoes putting her feet at risk of developing bunions

Causes of bunions

  1. Biomechanics: During the toe-off phase of walking (when you push off the ground with your toes), excess pressure on the big toe can lead to a bunion forming over time. Additionally, overly flexible or rigid joints and loose ligaments can cause instability in the foot, leading to the big toe bearing more weight or drifting towards the other toes.

  2. Genetic Predisposition: Flat feet, high or low arches, and other abnormalities can contribute to bunion formation as they can often cause uneven weight distribution across your foot. More pressure is put on the inside of the foot and the big toe joint, which can push the big toe out of alignment over time.

  3. Overpronation: When your foot rolls inward excessively as you walk or run, it can lead to overpronation. This places extra pressure on the big toe joint, causing the toe to gradually move towards the other toes.

  4. Footwear Choices: High heels and tight shoes can squeeze your toes together increasing pressure on the big toe joint, and accelerating bunion formation.

Bunion symptoms

  • Visible bump

  • Redness

  • Swelling

  • Tenderness

  • Discomfort when walking

  • Limited mobility

As the bunion progresses, the misalignment of the big toe joint can cause stiffness, limited range of motion, and difficulty walking comfortably. In severe cases, bunions can impact overall foot function and quality of life, requiring intervention to manage symptoms.

A Paris everyBODY Pedorthist scanning a foot for custom foot orthotics to prevent a bunion

Custom foot orthotics for bunions

Custom orthotics are an effective non-invasive treatment option for managing bunions and finding bunion pain relief. By providing support and realigning the foot structure, orthotics can help reduce pressure on the bunion and improve wearer comfort. For individuals with bunions, custom orthotics offer several benefits:

Pressure Redistribution

Custom orthotics redistribute pressure away from the bunion, reducing pain and preventing the condition from worsening. By providing a more even weight distribution across the foot, orthotics can alleviate the stress placed on the bunion area.

Enhanced Support

Orthotics are tailored to the unique shape of your foot, offering support where it's needed most. This can help correct the abnormal alignment of the big toe and improve overall foot function.

Cushioning and Shock Absorption

Custom orthotics often include cushioning materials that reduce impact on the affected joint. This can significantly decrease discomfort during walking or standing.

Corrective Features

Orthotics can be designed with specific corrective features, such as extensions, cut-outs and other accommodations, to address underlying issues that contribute to bunion formation. By improving foot alignment and function, orthotics can slow the progression of bunions.

Bunion treatment options

With a variety of options available, our expertly trained staff can find the right solution to fit your specific needs!


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