13 Common Causes of Foot Pain

13. Bunions

What are bunions?

Bunions are easily recognizable. They’re unsightly bulges at the sides of the big toes. Specifically, they occur at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the base of the big toe. Bunionettes are smaller bunions that affect the joints of the little toes.

How do bunions happen?

This condition occurs when the MTP joint slips out of place and gradually moves toward the other toes. Bunions do not go away on their own. In fact, they get bigger over time, actually deforming the bones as they grow. This deformity can then cause the MTP joint to protrude further and further.

What do bunions feel like?

Common symptoms of bunions—besides the obvious bumps—are numbness, pain, redness, and swelling.

Who is at greater risk?

Risk factors for bunions include:

  • Age: Older people are more likely to develop bunions.
  • Sex: Women are more likely than men to develop bunions.
  • Foot shape: Certain foot shapes are more prone to developing this condition.
  • Arthritis: This condition can increase the risk of bunions.
  • Footwear: Prolonged wearing of pointy-toed shoes can cause or worsen this condition.

While bunions affect the big toe, the following cause of foot pain is a problem associated with the sole of the foot. In fact, it is the #1 cause of heel pain…

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