"Can bunions get worse? Yes, they can get worse, in different ways. Bunions can increase pressure on the ball of the feet, under the big toe joint, and on top of the big toe joint, resulting in pain. The big toe also can cause the second and third toes to over or underlap, forming a hammertoe or a neuroma. Untreated, painful bunions can also lead to arthritis in the big toe joint. Shoes do not cause bunions, but can rub against the bunion, causing pain. Wearing narrow, or pointy shoes at the toe box area can also cause a bunion to get worse."