Why Do I Have Bunions? – Causes and Risk Factors

“Why do I have Bunions?” is the most common question searched on the internet and asked by pediatricians and orthotic specialists.

Did you know that more than half of the adult population has bunions? Even professional athletes face this problem. I have mentioned professional athletes because they are careful with their exercise and know about body strength more than average.

What happens?

Bunions are progressive and, if left untreated, increase the angle of joint distortion. It is the outward growth of the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe. When the pressure is increased, the big toe moves inward, and there is a medial protrusion of the side joint. Bunions can form along the sides of the feet. However, the bunion in the larger toe is more frequently seen.

A bunion is a foot deformity that has no specific type. However, some factors aggravate the formation of bunions. I have discussed the common aspects that people face. According to a survey done by WebMD, these factors are practiced by every ordinary person.

Let’s head forward and discuss the factors:

Hereditary reasons:

Time to open your family history and see if bunions run in your previous generations. If they do, then there is a high probability you have a bunion because of genetics. Hereditary bunions are quite famous and mostly treated through surgeries. If they are intense, then natural ways work quite well!

Underlying foot conditions:

Foot conditions like high arches and flat feet catalyze the formation of bunions. The foot anatomy is already disturbed, and there is a hindrance in weight distribution, so it is no surprise that you get a bunion.

Anatomical Reasons:

The big toe of your foot pushes against the smaller ones and sometimes drives over and under them. The upper end of the toe is pushed inward, balanced by the outward protrusions of the Metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP) at the base of the toe. The intermetatarsal angle (IMA) gives the intensity and severity of the bunion. A large gap is formed with the other toes that cause the big one to jut out due to a higher angle. Standard IMA is 9 degrees, and deviation from that shows signs of a bunion.

Narrow Shoes:

Narrow shoes do not develop the Hallux Valgus from scratch, but it does increase its intensity and pain. Bunions are less stable than an average shoe because the outward protrusion divides the body weight unevenly. The rounded outward jutting is also hard to jam into the narrow shoes. If you push against the odds, then it is most likely to injure the area. Broader and softer shoes are a safer option.

Flat shoes:

Flat shoes have no orthotic support. Instead, they drag your feet and expose you to the shock from the ground. You can add inserts and change the footbed for comfort. Adding orthotics to your casual footwear is highly effective because they are warm most of the time.

High heeled shoes:

In such a deformity, your toes are already engorged and tender that does not need more pressure. High heels cause the pressure to fall to the front of the feet as more weight befalls there. The balls have to give more support, and the toes have to flex to occupy more space. However, the cinched front of heels and the resistance against the small room makes the joint brittle and vulnerable.


Women are more likely to get bunions than men. It is seen that currently, the percentage of women with bunions is higher as well. That is mainly because there is interference in the tendon joining and ligament strengthening during pregnancy due to the hormonal imbalance. There is porosity in the joint that makes it easy to bend and go out of shape. The protrusion is highly likely to occur in that duration.


An occupation like nursing, office, and teaching requires long hours on your feet. You have to spend the majority of the day standing or running around to meet demands. The more you push against your feet for vigorous movements, the more you are likely to hurt and expand the joint’s angle. This also decreases the time for healing. A careful selection of shoes can bring tremendous relief.


Weak bones and underlying conditions have previously altered the anatomy of feet so that there is an uneven distribution. Add in the bunions, and you are in for a painful ride. Arthritis of ankle joints causes the feet to drop, and more pressing for momentum is required—increased pressure at the tips of toes that widens the alignment of joints at the base.

It is excellent and healthy to analyze your feet. Most specialists ask you to keep observing your feet for any deformity. It also makes you thirst for more information. That information can be used for self diagnosis and coming up with solutions at the time of need!

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