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Chiropractic Care for Bunions

Published Date: 
August 7, 2023
Woman with bunion holding her foot.

Bunions are bony bumps that develop at the base of the big toe. They are caused when the bones of the front section of the foot move out of place. When this happens, the tip of the big toe shifts frontward and forces the big toe joint to protrude. It’s also possible for bunions to develop on the joint of the little toe.

For many people, this bump is painful and is red and irritating. This pain increases when wearing footwear, especially when it presses against the problem area.

Bunions most often develop because someone wears poorly fitted shoes. The shoes might be too small, or their design might force feet into an unhealthy position. For example, frequently wearing pointed-toed high heels is one of the main reasons why bunions develop. 

They can also develop due to a foot deformity, medical problems, or your foot’s natural shape.

How Bunions Develop

The exact cause of bunion formation is unknown. However, factors affecting bunion development include:

  • Inherited foot shape
  • Foot injury
  • Foot deformities at birth
  • Poorly fitted shoes
  • Arthritis, particularly rheumatoid arthritis

Signs and Symptoms of Bunions

The signs and symptoms of bunion formation include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Soreness 
  • Bulging bump on the base of the toe
  • Corns and calluses
  • Recurring pain
  • Limited movement of the affected toe

Most bunions cause foot pain or discomfort, especially when you continue to wear the shoe that aggravates the problem. One of the best ways to get pain relief is to wear properly fitted shoes with a large toe area. You might even consider wearing custom foot orthotics or a shoe insert to reduce the risk of bunions developing.

Woman with bunions taking off heeled shoes and massaging foot.

Treating Bunion Pain with Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is one of the most effective options for treating bunion pain. In most cases, chiropractic treatment reduces the size of bunions and alleviates the discomfort caused by the problem. 

Chiropractors help you with bunions by adjusting the metatarsal joints manually or using a neuromechanical tool. Additionally, chiropractors can use treatment to improve the range of motion. They’ll also recommend things you can do at home or changes you can make in your lifestyle to reduce your risk of developing bunions or alleviate the pain of bunions.

Pair of feed with red, inflamed bunions.

Chiropractors focus on restoring proper joint alignment and mobility. These things affect your likelihood of developing bunions or experiencing bunion pain.

There are several methods and tools chiropractors use to treat bunions. They help you:

  • Prevent bunions from developing
  • Prevent complications from bunion surgery
  • Reduce pain from bunions
  • Speed healing of bunions

Ways to Manage Bunion Pain At Home

You can manage bunion pain in several ways and reduce the chances of developing or aggravating a bunion. Some treatment options include:

  • Avoid high heels and poorly fitting shoes
  • Maintain a healthy weight or lose weight if you’re overweight
  • Use gel-filled pads or bunion covers
  • Use a shoe insert or custom orthotics that help with foot positioning
  • Wear a splint when sleeping to hold your toes straight
  • Use ice packs, massage, and warm soaks

The best thing you can do to prevent and manage bunions is always to wear shoes that fit properly and provide a wide toe area. If you aren’t sure what shoes to wear, consider having your feet professionally sized and fitted for the appropriate shoe. At the very least, avoid shoes with pointed toes.

Woman sitting on chair slipping off high heels.

A chiropractor can evaluate your feet and manipulate the bones and soft tissue for optimal foot health. They can also recommend foot stretches, particularly for the muscles of the bottom of the foot and calf muscles. Additionally, they can show you how to do balance exercises that promote the overall health of the foot. 

Pay attention to the muscles of the feet, the skin, and your toenails. In addition to chiropractic care, at-home hygiene and massage therapy both help you improve foot health. 


A chiropractic adjustment is one of the best options for treating bunions and bunion pain. It’s safe, effective, and non-invasive. You can use it with other bunion treatments, but it is often enough to ease the discomfort of bunion pain without any further intervention. Most chiropractors can help you with bunion treatment.

It’s essential to recognize how important your feet are. Don’t neglect them or show them any less attention than other parts of your body. You use your feet every day, and you must give them the care they need. Your chiropractor can help you develop a healthy foot care routine to reduce your risk of bunions and other problems.

Dr. Eric Neumann D.C.

Dr. Eric Neumann grew up in Alberta, Canada where he majored in Chemistry at the University of Calgary. During his time at University, he obtained licensure as a Massage Therapist. It was clear that hands-on healing would be his calling. After suffering multiple sport-related injuries he became interested in Chiropractic. Dr. Neumann graduated from Western States Chiropractic College in 2009. He has since specialized in the treatment and management of acute spinal injuries.

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