If you looked down at your feet, would you be able to tell if you had a bunion? Many people mistakenly believe that a bunion is an abnormal growth at the base of the big toe that causes severe pain, but this isn’t correct.

A bunion (Hallux Valgus) is a deformity of the big toe joint where it connects to the foot. The big toe drifts in towards the other toes, and it’s the displaced joint that creates the visible bump and can damage the nerve.

Bunions can start as a minor issue and progress in severity over time. At first, you may not notice that you have a bunion because you don’t experience any pain, or at best, you occasionally put up with some foot discomfort.

Pain And Bunions

Bunions can range in size dramatically. Some will be small, while others can develop into large bumps that become irritated and painful when wearing shoes. Redness can be caused by rubbing of the shoe or inflammation of the nerve along the side of the big toe. When the nerve is inflamed it can cause that part of the foot to become numb.

When Should You Seek Bunion Treatment?

There isn’t a specific time to seek bunion treatment, regardless of the severity. A lot of people will seek treatment at the first signs of a bunion, while others will only book an appointment once the condition becomes quite painful or unsightly.

A few of the reasons you should seek treatment include:

You are unable to wear specific shoes – The size limits the types of shoes you can wear. Wearing certain types of shoes will rub the skin around the area of the bunion and cause pain and discomfort.

An unsightly bunion – unsightly bunion can be the source of social discomfort, like when you visit the beach or the pool.

The toes have overlapped – A big toe that is out of alignment can push the smaller ones out of alignment. As the condition worsens, a little toe may be pushed over the top of an adjacent toe. While pain and discomfort may be minimal, a deformed foot can make it painful or uncomfortable to wear shoes.

If you suspect you have a developing bunion or want to get back to a normal life without the unsightly lump, visit the Northwest Surgery Center, where trained foot professionals will help you return to a life free of bunions, painful or not.