The exact cause of a bunion is often unknown but usually it is either a congenital bunion or an acquired bunion.
A congenital bunion is often a result of:
- Deformities from birth
- Inherited foot type
Many say that congenital factors can make you genetically prone to bunions which means they may run in the family or the shape and anatomy of your foot may just make you more likely to develop one.
An acquired bunion is often a result of
- Foot stress or injury
- Uncomfortable footwear (narrow sole / high heels / ill-fitting shoes)
Bunions can develop and get worse from wearing ill-fitting and uncomfortable footwear as they can induce excessive pressure on the toes by forcing the first and fifth toes towards the centre, thus compressing the other toes. This compression increases when wearing high heels as your weight will shift towards the front of your foot. Wearing uncomfortable rigid shoes can also hinder the natural movement of the toes as you walk, thereby weakening your foot muscles and facilitating the appearance of bunions.
Medical conditions such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can also make you more prone to developing a bunion.