Bunions can cause a lot of physical distress. At first, that little bulge at the base of your big toe may provide only a cosmetic distraction. But as it grows in size, and your toe drifts further out of alignment, you may start to develop serious pain when walking or wearing shoes.
Fortunately, if your bunion is still relatively small, you may be able to relieve the physical pain purely with simple remedies. On the flipside, if you choose to ignore your bunion, it will only get bigger and worse! Here are a few of our top tips for relieving bunion pain:
- If the shoe hurts, don’t wear it! Smaller bunions can often be accommodated with softer, roomier shoes that provide adequate wiggle space for your toes. Avoid tight, narrow, constrictive footwear as much as possible.
- Use non-medicated moleskin or gel-filled pads. These protect the bunions from painful friction, which can cause secondary complications like corns and calluses.
- Use splints or toe spacers. These are designed to reduce stress on the toe joint by keeping the digit in a straighter alignment.
- Enjoy a foot soak. Use cool or lukewarm water and a little Epsom salt (or whatever bath salts you prefer. Ten to 15 minutes should be plenty.
- Perform some toe stretches, foot exercises, or even a little massage. Keeping your foot joints as strong and flexible as possible will minimize pain and stiffness and may even slow the progression of the bunion.
- Obviously, you don’t want to rely on daily painkillers. But if pain temporarily flares up, an OTC anti-inflammatory or topical analgesic can help. We might also provide an injection of cortisone when necessary.
- Try shoe inserts. We’ll help you pick a good one out—either a prefabricated model or, if necessary, a custom orthotic. These devices not only add cushioning to reduce pressure, but can even correct the faulty mechanics causing the bunion in the first place.
Regardless of the size of your bunion or the amount of pain you may be feeling, you should always play it safe and book an appointment with Dr. Timothy Dailey as soon as you notice that distinctive big toe bump. If your bunion has progressed past the “point of no return,” surgery might be your only option. However, we’ll do everything we can to help you avoid that outcome while controlling your pain and enjoying an active life! To schedule, please give us a call!