A Bunion (also known as “hallux valgus”) is a deformity affecting the joint that connects the big toe to the foot (the “first metatarsophalangeal joint” – or “MTP” joint). The 1st MTP joint is crucial for bearing and distributing our body’s weight when we’re on our feet. Although many think the bony protrusion at the base of the big toe is due to a bony growth, it is actually the joint sticking out as the big toe bends towards the second. The joint often becomes stiff, inflamed and painful. The outward protrusion of the joint can also make it difficult to find proper-fitting shoes.
Bunions are common: they affect about 23% of adults and occur more frequently in women than men. A bunion is a progressive foot deformity, meaning they usually form slowly over time. It is also irreversible without surgical intervention – although surgery is only indicated in severe cases. For most people, conservative routes of treatment will suffice to manage pain, slow the bunion’s progression and to prevent other painful disorders, like bursitis and arthritis.
When a bunion affects the joint at the base of the little toe, it’s called a “bunionette”.
Bunions are a progressive disorder and develop slowly over time. Signs and symptoms include:
Any one (or a combination) of the following factors can cause or contribute to bunions.
While they may be stylish, those beloved fancy high heels are one of the major reasons why bunions are more prevalent in women than men: the joint at the base of our big toe carries up to 60% of our body weight when walking and up to 3 times our body weight when jogging or running. When we wear high heels or repeatedly squeeze our feet into ill-fitting footwear, even more weight is put on that joint, which can trigger a bunion to form.
Once a bunion develops, narrow or tight fitting shoes will squeeze and put more pressure on the joint, which causes the bunion to grow.
The goal of treating bunions is to resolve foot pain so that you can resume normal activities. The deformity itself cannot be fully corrected without surgery; however in most cases bunions can be effectively managed by conservative, non-surgical methods. Such treatments include:
All of these treatments are available in our foot clinic.
To treat your bunions, book a foot assessment with one of our chiropodists using our online booking form below, or call us at 416-769-3338 – no referral required! Our foot clinic is open Mondays to Fridays from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 9 am to 4 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm.
The following risk factors and activities can make one more vulnerable to developing bunions:
The most effective and practical thing you can do to prevent bunions is wear proper footwear. You can do this by:
It’s important to remember: there is no need to sacrifice your feet for fashion. You may love the shoes, but if they don’t love you back, the relationship won’t be good for you in the long-run. The specially curated selection of dress shoes, Superfeet dress shoe inserts, and custom dress shoe orthotics at Feet First are living proof that you can be stylish and kind to your feet. After all, you deserve shoes that love you as much as you love them.
If you already have bunions, you can prevent the condition from getting worse by:
The knowledgeable foot specialists at Feet First Clinic can help you find bunion-friendly shoes, sandals and boots that suit the unique shape and biomechanical needs of your feet. Book an appointment with a chiropodist today if you want to seek treatment for bunions or to determine if you may be at risk of developing bunions based on your family history, gait patterns, and foot alignment.
Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!
Emily is the newest addition to the Feet First family. She assists with the clinic’s accounting and finances, as well as all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the clinic running smoothly. In addition to her accounting smarts, she brings sunshine and positivity to everyone at Feet First Clinic.
Part of our administrative support staff, Erica also works behind the scenes writing and editing content for our website and blog. She loves researching and writing educational content to help patients and anyone dealing with pain. When she’s not busy in the clinic, you’ll find her at her local gym, exploring underground music, hiking with friends, or cheering on her favourite sports teams (Go Jays!). She also loves huskies!
Day in and out, Bianca works hard to ensure Feet First Clinic runs smoothly. Customer service is at the top of her list and she treats every customer like family. Bianca has a passion for fitness and is dedicated to helping people take care of their feet and body. There is no problem that she can’t solve and she believes that where there is a will, there’s a way.
If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures. She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.