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Bunions (Hallux Abductovalgus)

A bunion is a bony growth that occurs on the side of the big toe joint.  When joints don’t function the way they should, the body can deposit calcium over the joint to protect it.  

When the foot continues to function incorrectly, the bunion gets bigger.

3 main causes of WHY bunions form:

  • Genetics 
  • Footwear 
  • Function 

GENETICS is when your Mum, Dad or Grandparents had bunions and you got them too!  This is because your foot shape is the same as one of your family and therefore you are likely to walk the same way as they do.   

FOOTWEAR can help prevent bunions from getting worse.  Choose shoes that have:

1. no more than 1 inch heel

2. wide forefoot (toe box). No pointed toes.

3. laces, so you can help control and support foot movement

Running shoes are best, however there are many casual shoes now that are low profile and are very roomy in the front of the shoe, which won’t squash your toes together.

The FUNCTION of your foot can also cause bunions.  If you have flat feet, or your ankles are weak and rolling in,  then your gait will force your body weight over the big toe joint the wrong way – and your bunion is likely to grow bigger.

Foot exercises to strengthen your arch is always prescribed at the clinic, as we must make our feet strong to cope with standing, climbing and walking.



Changing your shoes helps prevent excess pressure on your toes, however if your foot, ankle, knee or hip alignment is out, then custom prescription orthotics are essential to straighten your foot and is highly recommended for those with bunions.

If your knees point inwards (together), then this can place excess pressure on your hips.  It can also make your foot roll inwards, creating more force through the big toe joint when you ‘toe off’ in gait. This alignment issue make your bunion grow bigger and the joints are not functional at their optimum.

Don’t worry! We will sort out the causes and any imbalances as we are experts at this!