The symptoms of a bunion are enlarged bones at the base of the big toe. A hallux valgus presents as angulation of the big toe, away from its normal linear alignment. These symptoms can occur individually or simultaneously.
What causes bunions and hallux valgus?
Both bunions and hallux valgus are the result of poor foot function caused by wearing shoes that are too tight or too stiff in the toe area.
Bunions and hallux valgus occur when the foot excessively pronates and when the arches collapse while walking or running.
When this happens, toes are pointed outward so that the foot rolls off the inside of the ball of the foot when walking, with all the torsional forces concentrating there. With each step, the ball of the foot (or 1st metatarsal head) rubs against the shoe and, over time, a bunion forms. The bone enlarges and soft tissue thickens at the points of intermittent pressure.