5 Natural Remedies for Bunions
Change Your Shoes
Bunions are often caused or exacerbated by your choice of shoes, with high heels and stilettos particularly to blame. Low-heeled shoes with a wide toe box that provides plenty of room for the widest part of the foot and for the toes are the best choice for bunion sufferers, as well as those trying to avoid developing bunions. Good arch supports also make a difference. Avoid shoes that press in on the sides of the foot or are too tight. Shop at shoe stores where the staff knows how to help people with bunions. Have your shoes stretched, or consider having shoes custom-made.
Change Your Activities
Activities that put pressure on your big toe can worsen bunion pain. Instead of running, jogging or dancing, try getting your exercise through cycling, swimming or water aerobics to give your toe and foot some relief.
Aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen can all help to relieve the pain and reduce the inflammation caused by bunions. Check with your doctor to avoid any negative interactions with other medications you're taking.
Use Shoe Inserts
Moleskin and gel inserts can help protect the bunion from pressure caused by your shoes. Consider purchasing shoe inserts to help support your foot, including arch supports. Your podiatrist or physician may want to prescribe an orthotic device to keep your foot in the correct position and slow the progress of the bunion. Splints are also available to hold your foot in a healthy position while you're sleeping.
Apply Ice and Rest
When your bunions are irritating you, simply resting your feet can give you some relief. When you rest, elevate your foot to a level higher than that of your heart to improve circulation. Add a cold pack or ice bag to relieve pain as well, making sure to wrap it in fabric so the ice doesn't touch your skin directly. Soaking your feet in warm water or letting them relax in a whirlpool bath can also relieve some of the pain.
Bunions are caused when the bone or surrounding tissue at the base of the big toe moves out of place, resulting in a protruding and often very painful bump along the inside edge of the foot. While persistent bunion pain typically requires surgical treatment, there are some home remedies you can pursue to try to minimize pain or slow the progress of your bunions. Try these tips, and consult a podiatrist if bunion pain continues or increases.
If you've been experiencing bunion pain for over a year and the above home remedies no longer provide sufficient relief, it may be time to consider surgery. A bunionectomy removes the bony growth in hopes of restoring the foot to its proper alignment. Patients often need to continue wearing supportive footwear or orthotics even after surgery.