‘Bunions’ are quite common and the term is used to describe a deformity of the big toe (correctly known as the Hallux) where it moves across towards the other toes and the joint becomes prominent (as per the picture on the right).

The correct term for this is a Hallux Valgus (HV), the term Hallux Abducto-Valgus (HAV) is used if the big toe itself is twisted so that weight bearing is along the side of the toe.

Despite looking unsightly this condition is not always painful. However, it is progressive and so it can get worse as time goes on.


There are many suspected causes for HAV development such as:

  • Poorly fitting shoes
  • Trauma
  • Family history
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Neurological conditions

Treatment for HAV is dependant on symptoms. If they are painful and keep you awake at night with the pain then surgery may be needed. If they are painful during the day then seeing a Podiatrist can be beneficial as orthotics are shown to be very helpful.

Self help tips:
  • Wear good quality wide fitting footwear to stop any rubbing/pinching of the joint.
  • Calf stretches can help to improve basic biomechanics
  • Orthotics can help to halt the progression of a HAV and can make significant improvement to pain during walking.

For more help and information make an appointment with us here.

Useful articles:

Surgery was more effective than orthosis for hallux valgus:
Torkki M, Malmivaara A, Seitsalo S, et al. Surgery vs orthosis vs watchful waiting for hallux valgus. A randomized control trial. JAMA 2001 May 16;285:2474–80.