What are The Early Signs of Bunions? Symptoms to Watch Out

Rishabh Mehta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

Published On:

What are the early signs of bunions

Bunions, also known as Hallux Valgus (HV) are lumps that form at the base of the big toe joints. The tip of the big toe tends to move inwards towards the smaller toes, and the base at the joint moves outwards, forming a bony bump. Bunions can be genetic or due to other factors, such as wearing tight shoes and health conditions such as Arthritis. 

Over time, bunions can make it harder for you to wear your regular shoes or even walk normally. Knowing its early signs is important to detect them on time and manage them to minimize discomfort. So, what are the early signs of bunions? Read on to find out. 

Early signs of a bunion

Mild or stage 1 early signs of bunions can differ from those of moderate to severe bunions. You may not have pain initially, but redness, swelling, or a bump can be noticed. You may also have pain or stiffness, but no bump or redness might be observed initially. Let’s find out all possible signs of bunions. 

Swelling and redness

Inflammation and swelling are common early signs of bunions. The area around the developing bunion can start getting swollen and tender to the touch. The skin can turn red, thick, and feel warm. Redness and swelling mainly occur due to the pressure on the joint and surrounding tissues. 

Almost half of the adults have bunions, with women outnumbering men. The reason for the high prevalence among women is the weak connective tissues and the choice of footwear, such as high heels. 

Calluses and corns

Corns or calluses can develop around the bunion region. They are thick, hardened areas of skin that can be painful to touch. You can find it uncomfortable or hard to walk around when pressure is exerted on calluses and corn. They mainly occur due to friction between the spots as the toes rub against each other. 

Numbness and burning sensation

The misalignment of the big toe joint at the base can cause numbness or a tingling sensation. Nerve compression due to misalignment can also cause a burning sensation. 

Change in shape of the foot

As bunions get more severe, the misalignment of joints of the big toe can change the shape of the foot. During the mild stage, the shape changes are not visible. During moderate stages, there is an evident visible bump and a tilt of the tip of the toe inwards. However, during the severe stage, the toes can overlap. This unnatural shape makes walking very difficult. 

Bunions can increase the risk of developing Osteoarthritis and chronic pain. To avoid such complications, you should consult a doctor for diagnosis if you feel discomfort or pain. 

Restricted movement

The misalignment of the big toe can restrict the full range of motion and functionality. Such limitations can also affect your balance and stability, making it harder to walk or perform other physical activities normally. 

Pain and discomfort

Pain and discomfort are also common early signs of bunions. The area around the bunion can feel sore. You may experience pain when walking, running, wearing shoes, or doing anything that exerts pressure on your big toe joint region. The pain can be mild to severe. It may be consistent or alternatively rise and fall. If it gets chronic, you might even need surgery. 

Difficulty wearing certain footwear

Bunions can make you feel uncomfortable due to changes in foot shape or cause pain around your big toe area when wearing your normal footwear, such as tight-fitted shoes. An additional sign can be less or no pain when wearing wide, deep shoes or open footwear. 


A hard bump at the base of the big toe is the most crucial sign of a bunion. The bone extends outwards due to misalignment, making a bump. It can be large or small and worsens when wearing tight-fitting shoes. 

Bunion management and treatment

A person with bunion pads
A person with bunion pads

You can manage bunion pain and discomfort by using ice, changing your footwear to wide and deep boxes, and avoiding high heels. Bunion padding and medical tape to ease the pressure and keep the toe in the right position can also help. Some over-the-counter orthotic devices can also support your feet. 

Bunions need treatment when they turn painful. Painkillers like Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) can ease swelling and pain. You can buy a few of them, such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen, over the counter

You can also get higher doses with prescription versions like Naprosyn for better pain relief. Corticosteroids and physical therapy are other options to reduce swelling and improve alignment. Surgery is the only way to completely get rid of bunions. However, it is only recommended if the symptoms are severe and affect the ability to walk or perform daily tasks. 

You can buy Naprosyn 500 and Brufen 400 mg at WowRxPharmacy. 


Bunions are bumps at the joint of the big toe. They can be mild to severe and cause difficulty walking. A few of the early signs are redness, swelling, difficulty wearing regular shoes, corns or calluses, pain, bumps, and a change in the shape of the foot. 

You might need treatment such as NSAIDs or Corticosteroids to relieve pain, physical therapy to restore balance, and sometimes surgery to get rid of bunions. However, some management strategies can also make a big difference. Avoiding high heels and tight shoes, wearing wide shoes, and using bunion pads, ice, and orthotic devices can minimize pain and other symptoms. Such steps can ensure that you enjoy your daily physical activities with ease. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are bunions a sign of Arthritis? 

Bunions are caused by multiple reasons. Extra pressure on the foot, wearing tight shoes, or a family history of bunions are a few such causes. However, bunions can also be a sign of Arthritis. You should consult a doctor to diagnose the cause if you have bunions. 

Are bunions a sign of diabetes? 

Diabetes can cause a lot of foot problems. These can include bunions. You can also notice redness, cuts, or ulcers. These symptoms mainly happen due to high blood sugar levels, improper circulation, and being overweight. 

Are bunions a sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis? 

Bunions can be a sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Inflammatory conditions can make you more likely to develop bunions. Other reasons can be tight-fitting shoes, a family history of bunions, and foot deformities. 

How do I get my bunion to stop hurting?

To relieve bunion pain, you can use pain relievers such as NSAIDs. Some are available without a doctor’s prescription, such as Naproxen and Ibuprofen. You can also get higher doses with a doctor’s prescription for better pain relief. You can buy Naprosyn 500+ at WowRxPharmacy.

WowRxPharmacy uses only high-quality sources while writing our articles. Please read our content information policy to know more about how we keep our content reliable and trustworthy.

More Articles Like This

Leave a Comment

Receive the latest articles in your inbox!