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What is it?

What causes it?

A bunion (known medically as hallux abducto valgus) is a deformity of the big toe, where the big toe is angled towards the second toe and a bony lump forms on the side of the foot [1].

Bunions are usually caused by abnormal biomechanics of the feet, although certain types of footwear can worsen the problem. Some medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can also lead to bunion formation [1].

Stage 4 hallux abducto valgus (bunion)

What are the symptoms?

What podiatry treatments are available?

Bunions can become painful, red and swollen. They can cause hard skin and corns to develop on the bottom of the foot, or on the bunion itself. You may find that your toes and feet change shape [1]. This can lead to problems finding suitable shoes.

  • Biomechanical assessment and management – visit our clinic in Bradford for a full diagnosis – we will address any structural or functional biomechanical problems causing abnormal foot motion, which can lead to bunions forming and progressing. You may be prescribed insoles to improve how you walk (your gait) [3].

  • Footwear alterations and advice – we can alter your footwear or advise on suitable shoes to help your comfort levels.

  • Stretching and strengthening exercises – our podiatrist may also prescribe some foot exercises to strengthen any weakened muscles that may be contributing to your bunions [4]. This will help your feet become more stable.


  1. Perera, A.M., Mason, L., Stephens, M.M. (2011) The pathogenesis of hallux valgus – Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 93, p1650-1661.

  2. Menz, H.B., Lord, S.R. (2005) Gait instability in older people with hallux valgus. Foot and Ankle International, 26 (6), p483-489.

  3. Incel, A., Genc, H., Erdem, H.R. (2003) Muscle imbalance in hallux valgus: an electromyographic study. Am J Phys Med Rehabil, 82, p345-349.

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