Bunions are an enlargement of the big toe joint of the foot are usually occuring with a deviation in the angle of the big toe or hallux. Really the only way to get rid of bunions is with surgery, however there are many non-surgical options that may be considered that can lead to some small improvement in the angle of the big toe or hallux which helps ease any symptoms that the bunion may have. They are more prevalent in females and much more frequent in those that wear inadequately fitting footwear. There is also a genetic component to them as well, but that is not really well understood.
What can be done in order to avoid surgery? Bunion correctors are braces that are usually worn at night and are intended to correct the angle of the hallux. They do usually assist at improving the angle of the hallux a few degrees after a month or so. These bunion splints also help in keeping the toes flexible and can help in reducing some of the symptoms that you could get in the joint. Likewise, exercises to stretch out and keep the big toe joint mobile is also going to help with the symptoms, but it will not make the lump go away nor improve the angle of the big toe or hallux. Quite often pads are useful to get the pressure of the bunion from the footwear. They could be annoying to use, but are very useful in the event the footwear pressures on the lump is part of the condition. Probably the most essential thing to do is to get the shoes fitted properly. The shoes play a major role in creating the bunion as well as progressing it faster if they do not fit properly. Those that have bunions really do need to get out of the kind of shoes which could have led to the condition and get wearing footwear which do not put pressure on the problem.