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                                                                                            What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a deviation of the big toe joint towards the middle of the foot. In many cases, if treatment is put off, a bony growth may develop at the bunion causing a bump or an enlargement on the side and over the top of the big toe joint, which may cause foot and ankle pain. Given that there is a misalignment within the joint, bunions are usually but not always painful, and generally result in osteoarthritis within the big toe joint. Bunions are commonly associated with irritation in footwear, and are often a source of embarrassment due to the changed appearance of a sufferer’s feet.

What Causes Bunions & Bunion Pain?

Bunions are caused primarily by the way that someone walks and stands. This is why, at Keep Moving Podiatry, we can correct bunions, because we always address the underlying cause first so that we correct the bunion and stop it from coming back. Foot mobilisation is the minimally invasive technique we use at our podiatry clinic, and through this method we gently guide the joints back into an improved position and then strengthen the muscles around that joint to reinforce that positive position. As a result, your body will actually straighten the bunion through this process in conjunction with the hands-on therapy that you receive in the podiatry clinic – without the use of orthotics.

Symptoms of a Bunion:


Bunions tend to lead to pain and soreness at the big toe joint, the 1st MTPJ. Though persistent pain is one of the most common signs that a bunion requires treatment, pain itself isn’t always the best guide on what is happening with your bunion. In fact, a bunion can be 90% advanced before a person even feels any pain or discomfort at all. But as the condition progresses, the pain is often indicative of a more advanced issue. If a bunion is especially sore it may mean there is degenerative change or osteoarthritis.


Soft tissue swelling is common in and around the 1st MTPJ as the joint begins to protrude outward. The skin becomes inflamed and red, and the inflammation may persist for prolonged periods of time if the bunion goes untreated.

Bony Lump

When the big toe joint becomes misaligned, a noticeable bony lump will often form on the outside of the toe. The bony lump causes a more noticeably defined bump on the outside of the toe joint, and this is typically a sign of a more advanced condition.

Decreased Mobility

As the joint becomes mispositioned, you might also experience a loss of mobility in the affected toe. The loss of mobility could also be the result of persistent pain or pressure from swelling. It may also indicate degenerative change or even osteoarthritis through the joint.

Bunion Treatment Without Bunion Surgery

Most people think that orthopaedic bunion surgery is the only treatment when it comes to bunions; however, foot mobilisation is extremely successful in most cases and a non-surgical alternative procedure without using orthotics. Foot mobilisation helps to address the underlying cause, improving the way that someone stands and walks, as well as straightening the big toe. Conservative management, such as foot mobilisation, is recommended as early as possible, even if the sufferer feels no foot or heel pain. Studies tell us that our bodies only feel pain during the last seven to ten per cent of the progression of any condition. As a result, by the time a bunion starts hurting, significant irreversible damage has occurred. The sooner bunion treatment is started, the sooner the underlying cause of your bunions can be addressed.

How we can help you avoid surgery for your bunion:

  • Help to diagnose the underlying cause in your bunion assessment

  • Treat the underlying cause of your bunion

  • Straighten your bunion

  • Keep you doing the things you love

So what’s the process?

  1. Book an assessment with our podiatrist

  2. Allow us to assess your bunion and diagnose the underlying cause

  3. Come up with a plan to treat your bunion

  4. Carry out the plan together with your podiatrist and help you avoid a bunion surgical procedure

Contact us to book an appointment today

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