Since bunions are relatively common, everyone and their mother has a theory on how to fix them passed down from their great, great aunt’s cousin’s stepdaughter. Luckily, with a bit of research, you can dispel most of these wives’ tales with relative ease. There are some homeopathic methods that are effective as anti-inflammatory and pain relief agents, but there unfortunately no direct cure for bunions, as it is a progressive, hereditary bone disorder; and, until the day medication can alter bone alignment, we’re stuck with more applicable, hands-on options. Here are the tried, tested treatments that can work for you:
Change in Footwear
Changing your shoes is one of the fastest ways to provide your bunions with some relief. Shoes that are slightly too small, shoes that are too tight around the toes, pointed-toe shoes (brogues, several kinds of flats, wingtips, some boots) and high heels can restrict your toes and cause bunions to get much worse. Since bunions are caused the outside toe falling in and out of alignment, squeezing that toe even further in is going to progress the bunion much quicker and leave you in pain. Look for shoes with plenty of toe room (maybe consider looking into wide sizes if you normally wear standard-width) and cushion to provide immediate relief to the affected foot.
If you find yourself standing or walking for long periods of time, you may have to make other arrangements to relieve your bunion pain. If you’re standing for long periods of time, try to remember to take a seat and rest for a few minutes every hour. If you have a long walk, consider taking the bus or riding a bike to lessen the impact on your feet so that your bunions aren’t irritated. Anything you can do to lessen the amount of times the foot that has a bunion hits the floor or supports your weight, the better off you will be.
Although bunions can’t be fixed with medication, you can definitely find some alleviation from the symptoms with over-the-counter drugs. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can be helpful in taking down some of the swelling in your foot caused by the bunion. Taking down swelling is extremely important for bunions because irritation against shoes is one of the quickest ways to make bunions worse. The less a bunion rubs against your shoe, the less irritated it will become and the less pain you’ll be in as a result. The other type of medication suitable for bunions is painkillers. If you are experiencing extreme pain from your bunions, pain relief medicine can help you get through your day with decreased discomfort.
Ice has been a tried and true treatment of inflammation for a long time, and that’s because it works. Icing your bunion a few times a day (1 minute on, 1 minute off) can be extremely beneficial and effective in keeping the swelling of your bunion down to a more manageable and comfortable size. Just make sure to follow the 1 minute on, 1 minute off rule so that the affected area retains proper blood circulation.