Bunions (hallux valgus) are a common problem of the foot, especially in females. They are an enlargement on the inside of the big toe joint that can become painful in shoes and arthritis in the joint can also be a problem. They are thought to be more common in females as they are more likely to wear tighter and poorer fitting footwear. The cause of bunions are considered to be a combination of environment and genes. The environmental issues are tighter fitting footwear that deforms the foot. There is also a genetic component as people who do not wear shoes can get them. It is now generally assumed that the footwear may not be the cause, but poorer footwear brings them on at a younger age, makes then develop faster and makes the outcome worse.
The only way to make bunions go away is via surgery. There are many different methods widely promoted online and in social media, but none of them work. They mostly use fake before and after photos and fake testimonials. Surgery is not necessarily minor and can results in some disability afterwards with a long and slow return to full walking. If surgery is not indicated or not wanted, then usually the pain can be dealt with by a number of other approaches. If there is too much pressure on the enlarged joint, then using wider better fitting footwear that is wider can often help. If not, then pads on the foot to get pressure off the area can help. While corrective splints do not work at straightening the toe, they can be useful as a physical therapy treatment to help keep the toe mobile. This often helps with pain inside the joint. If you are having problems with bunions then a podiatrist is probably the best to give advice as to if surgical or conservative care is the better approach.