Bunions are bony lumps that form on the side of the feet. Surgery is the only way to get rid of them, but there are things you can do to ease any pain they cause.

Check if you have bunions

Symptoms of bunions include:

How to ease bunion pain yourself

You can’t get rid of bunions or stop them getting worse yourself, but there are things you can do to relieve any pain:

See a GP if:

  • the pain hasn’t improved after trying home treatments for a few weeks
  • the pain is stopping you doing your normal activities
  • your bunions are getting worse
  • you also have diabetes – foot problems can be more serious if you have diabetes

Treatments from a GP or podiatrist

A GP or podiatrist can advise you about:

  • things you can do to ease your symptoms, such as wearing wide shoes that don’t squash your toes
  • things you can buy or have specially made to reduce bunion pain, such insoles (orthotics), toe spacers and toe supports (splints)

A GP may refer you to a surgeon if your bunions are very painful or having a big effect your life. Surgery isn’t done just to improve how your feet look.

Surgery for bunions

Surgery is the only way to get rid of bunions.

You can’t always prevent bunions

The cause of bunions is unknown. It’s not clear if you can do anything to prevent them.

It might help to:

  • make sure your shoes are the correct size and have enough room for your toes
  • avoid shoes with high heels or pointy toes