The toes are an essential part of the foot. If you want to be healthy, you can’t ignore the health of your toes. However, it is a pity that many people suffer from foot pain daily, especially in their toes. Abnormality of the toes is a precursor of disease, so people should keep the health of their toes.

Overview of hallux valgus

hallux valgus

A bunion is an inflamed cyst (fluid-filled) that develops on the protrusion of the V-bone on the lateral border of the foot across the joint.

In general, hallux valgus, also known as “metatarsus,” is a common forefoot deformity in which the toe is excessively inclined to the outside of the foot, and the first phalangeal bone is adducted.

Other toe deformities and symptoms also accompany it. At the same time, it is also easy to induce bursitis, hammer toe, etc., which often causes pain, and the foot is poorly shaped, affecting the appearance. The incidence of this phenomenon is much higher in women than in men.

The pathological changes of hallux valgus deformity include: hallux valgus deformity at the level of the metatarsophalangeal phalanx, sometimes lateral subluxation of the proximal phalanx base, laxity of the medial joint capsule of the first metatarsophalangeal joint, and lateral contracture;

When the medial side of the 1st metatarsal head bulges and osteophytes form, bunculitis will form; The first metatarsal varus deformity.

Generally, the hallux valgus angle mainly refers to the lateral deviation of the big toe at the first metatarsophalangeal joint plane, with a maximum angle of 10 °to 15 °. If it exceeds this range, it belongs to hallux valgus deformity. When the angle between the first and second metatarsals reaches or exceeds 10 °, it belongs to the metatarsal varus;

If the first metatarsal bone is too long, the adductor pollicis muscle is tense and rubbed, and abnormal traction; Before the 1st metatarsal strangulation, before the 1st metatarsal is twisted, the flexor pollicis longus arches Tension will aggravate the deformity; forefoot will widen.

The so-called hallux valgus means that it is beyond the normal angle. Among many patients, about 50% of patients have a family genetic history. In fact, these people have this phenomenon when they are young, but they have no pain, so they ignore its existence.

In fact, it is beyond the normal angle; even if there is no pain, it is also a pathological condition. As time goes on, the hallux valgus will become more and more severe, and at the same time, the pain will follow.

What causes bunions?


A common cause of bunions is hallux valgus, which is a minor problem of the foot. “Hallux” in hallux valgus is a medical term for the big toe, and “valgus” is a medical term for outward bending or twisting.

If the big toe overlaps with the second toe after it has grown up or for various reasons, it will cause hallux valgus, and the degree of outward bending exceeds 10 °.

The following causes can cause hallux valgus.

  • Family history of foot deformity – foot joint deformity is caused by genetic inheritance.
  • Arthritis at the big toe joint.
  • Improper shoes-usually narrow, the front of the shoes is pointed, and high-heeled shoes are easy to cause squeezing between the feet and toes.

What problems can hallux valgus cause?

When the protruding bone in the hallux valgus exceeds the normal linear range of the foot, the protruding bone will form a lump called a bunion. The hallux valgus may press over the second toe, or even the third toe, causing problems with the toe, which may cause the second toe to become a hammer toe.

The bunion rubs against the inside of the shoe, hardening and thickening the skin on the protruding part to form calluses.

What are the complications of bunions?

If the pressure persists, especially when the shoes are tight, it can form a sac containing liquid called a mucus sac. If the sac is infected and swollen, it is called bursitis.

Mucus sac infection may occur, especially in patients with diabetes. Mucus sac inflammation is a severe problem. The overlapping skin will eventually break, forming ulcers and the affected joints are likely to develop into osteoarthritis (wear arthritis).

Hallux valgus leads to changes in the relevant mechanisms of the foot, which ultimately leads to pain and stiffness in the foot.

In addition to the foot cyst, which is easy to keratinize and form calluses, other parts of the foot are also easy to keratinize and form calluses.

Complications of hallux valgus

The complications of hallux valgus can be divided into the following categories:

  • With the increase of hallux valgus, the first metatarsal varus will become more and more serious because the first metatarsal head is most severely compressed and rubbed, the local bursa will become thicker, and bone hyperplasia will form a serve hallux valgus.
  • The forefoot will also be significantly wider, making it difficult to choose a suitable pair of shoes. Especially in the hot summer, wearing sandals becomes the biggest trouble, and people will feel that their feet are not beautiful or even ugly.
  • Due to long-term friction, the soft tissue inside the first metatarsal head will grow and become thick, and aseptic inflammation will occur locally. Severe bursitis will cause severe pain, which will affect walking.
  • Since the big toe deviates to the outside, the second toe will also be lifted up, and other toes will be squeezed from the outside of the shoe, causing deformities like chicken claws.
  • Therefore, the back of the toe will be rubbed, and the possibility of forming corns will increase; At the same time, due to the deformity of the toe, the foot pad will be formed at the foot bottom of the metatarsal head, which is commonly found at the foot bottom of the second toe head.
  • The corns and footpads will have severe pain and repeated attacks, which will affect normal life and work.
  • As the front foot becomes wider and the transverse arch collapses, the foot will more or less valgus when walking, which can easily lead to a change in the weight-bearing surface of the stepping joint, causing traumatic inflammation and pain of manic joints, and even affecting the knee joint, spinal joint and waist.

In addition, due to the widening of the forefoot, the collapse of the transverse arch, and the shock absorption and springing ability of the foot will also be reduced, which will seriously affect athletic ability.

In a word, hallux valgus itself is not only a pathological condition but also produces some complications that affect people’s lives.

What is the prevalence of bunions?

Bunions are a very common problem, but most people’s bunion is not serious and generally will not be troubled by this problem. Women are three times more likely to have bunions than men, which may reflect that women are more likely to have foot problems. Bunion has familial aggregation.

Do Bunions occur elsewhere?

Toe cysts can occur in other parts, such as the small toe on the other side of the foot. If there is also protruding bone on the side of the little toe, it may lead to a bunion around the small toe, which is called a bunion. Small toe bursitis may also cause keratosis or calluses.

What are the treatments for bunions?

The best treatment for bunions is to prevent them and choose suitable footwear. People who are prone to hallux valgus should pay attention to foot hygiene, which is very important to prevent the occurrence of bunions.

Self-treatment measures

  • Make sure the shoes are very comfortable and leave enough space for the feet so as not to squeeze them feet.
  • A thick circular adhesive pad should be pasted around the bunion.
  • First, separate your big toe from the other toes when you go to bed with a foam rubber pad.
  • Wear insoles that support the arch of the foot to relieve pain in the front foot.
  • For bursitis, the patient can cut a small hole in the front of the old shoes and then wear the shoes with the small hole until the inflammation is healed.
  • It may be helpful to apply a preservative desiccant to the affected area, such as methylated alcohol.

Professional treatment

  • Foot doctors may provide specialized diagnosis and treatment measures for bunions, including treatment of skin problems caused by bunions.
  • Generally, it is not necessary to use drugs for treatment unless the mucus sac is infected.
  • If the condition of bunions is serious, and daily foot care cannot improve the condition, surgery is generally required, and the effect of surgical treatment is very good. However, conservative treatment is the best, and surgical treatment should be chosen with caution.

Acupoint massage therapy

dadu point

Let’s first look at the relationship between hallux valgus and spleen meridian. If you touch the root of your toe, you will find a Protruding bone on both sides of which are the Dadu and Taibai points of the Spleen Channel. Taibai point is also the original point of the spleen meridian. If the Spleen Meridian is too weak, the original point will collapse, the root of the toe will be empty of qi and blood, and the blood will not nourish the bone, resulting in the degeneration of bone joints or the formation of cysts due to the inability to remove metabolic waste, resulting in pain and deformation. Perhaps this is the real reason for hallux valgus.

tai bai acupoint

In short, if you want to prevent hallux valgus, you’d better massage Dadu and Taibai points on both sides of the thigh bone of the hallux, especially the Taibai point. One of the two acupoints belongs to fire, and the other belongs to the earth, which can effectively protect the Spleen Meridian.

How to prevent and treat a bunion

Experts believe that hallux valgus is mainly to do good prevention work. First of all, avoid wearing pointed high-heeled shoes for a long time. When wearing shoes on weekdays, you should try to choose shoes with loose front and heel height of less than 4 cm, especially when exercising or walking for a long distance.

Secondly, for women who need to wear high-heeled shoes at work, a 2 to 4-cm heel is the most appropriate. It is not suitable to walk quickly or walk on slopes when wearing high-heeled shoes. After coming home from work, they can soak their feet in hot water to relieve foot disease.

When you go to work, you can also prepare a pair of comfortable flat shoes in the office and wear them alternately with high-heeled shoes to reduce foot fatigue.

If the patient has a slight hallux valgus, use a cotton pad between the first and second toes, and wear an orthotic bunion connector at night to prevent the hallux valgus from aggravating.

In addition, regular foot massage and exercise will help strengthen the muscle strength of the foot and delay the aggravation of hallux valgus.

Patients with mild hallux valgus can first try the conservative treatment. For patients with ineffective treatment or increased pain, it is recommended to choose surgical correction. Such operations have high requirements on the precision of surgical instruments and the proficiency of surgical techniques. Therefore, it is necessary to find an experienced specialist to measure the changes in various angles after hallux valgus accurately, according to the patient’s age, symptoms, work, and general condition, to determine the surgical method. Otherwise, it may affect the later recovery.

Afterward, the pain can be temporarily relieved with the bunion connector and other aids tools, and the toe cyst can further deteriorate. Long-term use of hallux valgus orthosis bunion connector is better.

Prevention of hallux valgus

1) It is necessary to increase outdoor activities and exercises appropriately and try to avoid long-term bed rest.

2) Eat high-calcium food to ensure normal bone metabolism. Eat more milk, eggs, bean products, vegetables, and fruits, and supplement calcium when necessary.

3) Those who are overweight should control their diet, increase their activity and reduce their weight to reduce the weight bearing of joints.

4) Protein intake should be limited, and excessive protein in food will promote calcium excretion from the body.

5) It is necessary to increase the intake of multiple vitamins, such as vitamins A, B, B, Br, C, and D.

6)Wear appropriate shoes, but wear a hallux valgus correction belt intermittently to prevent hallux valgus.

7) Avoid wearing pointed high-heeled leather shoes for a long time. Try to wear shoes with a wide front on weekdays, especially when exercising or walking for a long distance.


A bunion is a kind of toe disease caused by unnatural impact or bone bending. A bump is formed at the beginning of the toe, resulting in swelling, sometimes causing the toe to turn inward and perpendicular to the other toes.

Because the part where bunions occur needs to bend the joint of the toe when walking, the whole body weight of a person is pressed on it during each walk. Most bunions do not affect normal walking but can cause extreme pain.

Bunions may also be caused by wearing tight, small and unsuitable shoes for a long time, especially high-heeled shoes and pointed shoes, which cannot provide comfortable and good support and easily deform the toes.

The toe may tilt inward for a long time, squeeze other toes, or even overlap the toe on the second toe. There is a hard joint on the inside of the toe, and there is pain, redness, and swelling, and the skin becomes thick and hard. This is hallux valgus bunion.

Some people have severe hallux valgus without obvious discomfort; In some people, hallux valgus is not very serious, but there is pain, swelling, red and hot skin, and even ulceration at the thumb sac.

Treatment of bunculitis

  • Conventional treatment: The doctor may recommend painkillers or special treatments to relieve swelling and inflammation. A hot compress and warm foot bath can also help relieve acute pain and discomfort, and we can also use relieving pain ointment, such as bunion relieving pain ointment. If the bunion is not a persistent pain and is found earlier, wearing good quality and fit shoe is also a treatment method. Most doctors do not advocate adding pads, splints, or stuffing in shoes, which may increase the pressure on the foot, thus aggravating foot problems.
  • Home remedies: When bunions cause foot pain, a hot compress or soaking in warm water can reduce the pain.
  • Massage therapy: professional operation can help change the position of deformed bones and relieve the pain of a bunion.