What Does Bunion Pain Feel Like?

If you have a painful bump on your big toe and feel it is a bunion, it might not necessarily be so. Bunions result in a growth of the bottom of your big toe joint.

It is because of the misalignment of your bones and big toe points inward, and the joint of your big toe shift outward. There can be several reasons for a bunion, such as an injury to the big toe or genetic. 

How does bunion pain feel like? From my own experience of having a minor bunion at the age of 36, the pain from bunion makes walking uncomfortably and you will be limping for a few days. Running is painful and the pain disappears when you are not exerting any strength on it.

Moreover, it can get worst if the shoes don’t fit well or have a narrow toe box or high heels. In the early stages, bunions may not cause much discomfort, but if you feel consistent pain, swollen, and redness, you need to see a doctor. If the bunion gets worse, it can create problems like pinched nerves like neuromas, hammertoes, and worsen flat feet. Never ignore these issues. 

Causes of Bunion

Foot problems mostly start at an early age. As we grow, our feet spread, and the problem can get worse. Bunions are often genetic and weak, or poor foot structure often causes this. If one of your legs is longer than the other, you may develop a bunion. Sometimes, they grow with arthritis. Women are at more stake than men because they wear high heels and tight shoes. Such shoes push the foot bones into an unnatural shape over time. 

Symptoms of Bunion

Have a close look at your foot. Observe where the bottom of your big toe connects with your foot. If you observe a bony bump and your big toe are headed towards the opposite direction, it is a bunion symptom. Moreover, it may sometimes turn red, swell, hurt, and feel tender to the touch. Over time, it may become warm and shiny when you touch it. It limits the movement of your big toe. 

7 Ways Can Ease Bunion Pain Without Surgery

Shoe inserts and warm soaks can give you relief from pain. Bunions are permanent and might not be corrected without surgery. You can take some measures to slow down the progression and feel more comfortable.

Some people might start feeling comfortable wearing fitting shoes. Make sure to choose low heeled and comfortable shoes that can provide plenty of space for the widest part of your foot and your toes. 

These 7 ways can reduce the pressure on the joint and relieve pain up to some extent. 

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Massive weight can cause severe problems. 
  • Protect the bunion with a gel-filled pad, and you can purchase it from a drugstore. 
  • For the correct positioning of the foot, use shoe inserts. These inserts can be orthotic devices and over the counter arch supports. 
  • If advised by the doctor, wear a splint at night, and it can hold the toe straight and ease discomfort. 
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen. 
  • Use warm socks, whirlpool, ice packs, ultrasound, and massage. 
  • Buy well-fitting shoes and make sure that they are wide in the toe area. Visit a store where the staff measures your foot and can offer you the best-fitted shoe. 

Some people like to treat bunion by stretching the foot to realign the toes. Moreover, they prefer using devices like bunion splints or toe spacers. Doctors said that these devices are like a pair of eyeglasses; when you take them off, the benefits are gone. Moreover, such devices can’t realign your toe permanently. 

When It’s Time for Surgery

If you have tried everything and getting no relief from pain, then it’s time for surgery. First, do surgery of your shoes, and if the pain persists for more than a year, it might be time for bunion surgery. If the pain isn’t consistent, and off for years, you can wait and consult about surgery. Sometimes doctors recommend immediate surgery because bunion can result in other painful foot problems, such as bursitis, hammertoes, pain in the balls of your feet, and bunion below the little toe. 

When patients become old, bunions may cause other problems. For these patients, pain is constant and creating problems for the second toe as well. The primary purpose of surgery is to relieve pain and return the big toe to its original or correct position. During surgery, surgeons put ligaments, bones, nerves, and tendons back into the correct order and remove the bump. There are almost over 150 types of bunion surgery, and surgeons use only one from half of the dozen mostly used procedures. 

Who to Blame for Bunions? 

Bunions are often genetic, and they can also be the result of how we walk or the shoes we wear. The chances of bunions are higher in women than men, especially as they grow older. People who have flexible joints can tolerate their bunions more. People who have arthritis and stiff joints have more trouble with their bunions, and they develop pain earlier. 

When you develop bunions, talk to your family doctor. He or she might refer you to a podiatrist who diagnoses and treats the condition of the ankle, foot, and related structure of the leg. 

How Can I Prevent Bunions?

Bunions develop slowly, so you can pay attention in childhood and early adulthood, and minimize the damage later in life. Follow the tips for the prevention of bunions. 

  • As bunions develop over time, you need to keep track of your feet, especially if bunions run in your family. 
  • Exercise your feet for developing strength. Pick up small objects like a pebble or pencil with your toes. 
  • Wear shoes that fit properly and don’t pinch or cramp your toes. 
  • Women should avoid high heels or pointed shoes. 


It is important to understand the symptoms and causes of bunions. You need to pay attention to your foot at an early age. Otherwise, it can get worse as you grow old. Moreover, exercise your feet to strengthen bones and avoid bunions. Wear well-fitted shoes and avoid high-heels. 

Sky Hoon. About
Martial Art Fan
He started his love on martial arts by watching MMA and Angela Lee. He then started this blog to learn more about the different martial arts.
Other Posts By Author