The visible bump on the side of your big toe actually reflects changes in the bony framework of the forefoot. The big toe leans toward the second toe rather than pointing straight ahead. This pushes the bone at the base of the joint out of alignment producing the bunion or “bump”.
Pain from a bunion may be mild and mostly due to shoe irritation in the early stages. In the more advanced stages, the pain can become severe as the deeper tissues around the joint may become swollen and inflamed making it difficult to walk in normal shoes. Chronic bunions can also damage the cartilage surface of the joint leading to arthritic pain.
Conservative treatment includes bunion pads, wearing comfortable shoes, sandals and athletic shoes and avoiding high-heeled shoes. These home remedies can help reduce pressure on the bunion and smaller toes and slow the progression of the joint deformity.
In some cases observation is all that is needed but in cases that have progressed beyond conservative treatment, surgery may be necessary. The type of procedure used depends on the deformity’s severity, as well as your age, health, and activity level.