Best Ways to Treat Bunions from Home
What Are Bunions?A bunion is a painful, bony bump that develops on the inside of the foot, at the big toe joint. Bunions develop over a period of time. Long term pressure on the big toe joint causes the big toe to bend towards the second toe. Over time, the normal structure of the bone changes, resulting in the bunion bump. The joint at the base of the big toe carries much of the weight while wearing shoes and walking, so bunions can cause severe and constant pain making your life miserable.
What Causes Bunions?Some of the most common causes of bunions are heredity, arthritis, over-pronation, repetitive stresses to the foot, and wearing poorly fitting shoes- especially shoes with a high heel, narrow, pointed toe box that forces the toes into an unnatural position. Always remember that wearing shoes that are too tight and that don't fit properly are likely to make an existing bunion worse.
Who Can Get Bunions?Anyone can get a bunion, but they are more common in women. Many women wear tight, narrow shoes that squeeze the toes together and high heels that push the body weight forward onto the big toe joint—which makes it more likely for a bunion to develop, worsen and cause painful symptoms.
What Should I Do?If you believe you have developed a bunion, speak to your family doctor immediately before the pain gets too hard to bear. Your doctor may refer you to a specialist such as a podiatrist. A podiatrist specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions of the foot and ankle. Bunions just don't go away by themselves, they must be treated. They are permanent unless you have them surgically removed, but there are some things that can be done to improve comfortable and to slow the bunions' development down.
I Don't Want to Have SurgeryNo one likes the idea of having surgery. This is why it is important that you work with your doctor to develop a plan that is best suited for you. There are some non-surgical ways that may help in the relief of bunion pain. For many people, it is as simple as wearing better fitting shoes. Wider shoes with deeper toe boxes will give adequate toe room and using other simple treatments to reduce pressure on the big toe, have proven to be very effective. Here are a few more:
- Maintain a normal weight
- Protect the bunion with a moleskin or a gel filled pad.
- Use shoe inserts to help position the foot correctly. These inserts can be either over the counter arch supports or a custom made orthotic.
- Under a doctor's guidance, wear a night splint while you sleep at night to hold your toe straight and ease discomfort.
- Use warm soaks, ice packs, whirlpool and ultrasound massage.