5 Ways To Ease Bunion Pain
How to Ease Bunion Pain
Imagine if you will, a freeloading guest. You don't expect their arrival. They soon wear out their welcome. After a while, you start wondering how they are still there. Wait, did you even invite them? Did you do something to cause them to stay indefinitely? Is there any way to make their stay more bearable? Wait, can't I make this person disappear?
Now imagine the guest is stuck to your foot!
That what it's like to have a bunion. And much like the annoying guest, you don't want to ignore bunions. Their stay tends to get worse and lead to greater problems down the road.
Had enough of my analogy? Understood. Let's hone it in and take about how to ease bunion pain.
What Are Bunions?
A bunion is a "bony bump at the base of the big toe". Bunions can be painful and downright bothersome. They can hamper your ability to enjoy your favorite activities.
If you have pain from bunions, you definitely are not alone. Almost 3 million people per year suffer from bunions. Although that won't give you consolation, it is good to know that we treat this condition on a regular basis.
How does a Bunion Form?
Bunions form as the big toe presses against its neighbor toe. Other factors that may cause bunions:
- Shoes that are too tight or malfitting
- Undue stress upon the foot
- Arthritis in the foot
5 Ways to Ease Bunion Pain
We covered what a bunion is. But chances are you're here because you're wondering how to ease bunion pain yourself. Especially before you opt for surgery. So let's get to it. Here are some things you can do to ease the pain of having bunions.
1. Try Different Shoes
There is a reason that most cases of bunions (some reports say up to 90%) effect women. One reason bunions effect women more often is that they can be caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow. The exaggerated, pointed toes of high heeled shoes are a prime culprit.
So ladies, avoid the high heels if you want to ease bunion pain. Find shoes with a more forgiving toe box. Try to avoid shoes with seams around the toe area. And if you don't know which shoe to pick, visit a shoe store that specializes in custom fits. Your feet will thank you.
2. use orthotics
What's an orthotic? It's an insert that goes inside your shoe. Often molded to your foot specifically, an orthotic can work wonders for bunions. By adjusting the mechanics of your feet, orthotics may slow down bunion progression or alleviate the condition completely.
At the least, orthotics can ease bunion pain by correcting excessive pronation of the feet. The same pronation which may have caused the bunion in the first place.
3. Ice It
Much like a loyal pet you can always depend on, icing is a consistent solution to relieving swelling. Icing is not a long term solution, but it can be invaluable for the temporary relief of pain.
In this regard, icing bunions is no different. Icing will relieve the swelling after a long day of walking or standing. That's why it's such a reliable way to ease bunion pain. (Don't apply the ice directly to the bunion, use a pack or wrap.)
4. Exercise the Foot
Although exercise can't make the condition disappear, they can ease bunion pain. There are special exercises to build strength in the muscles of the foot and toes. Here are a couple:
- Use your toes to pick up something small such as a pebble
- Alternate curling, then pointing your toes
- Pull your big toe into place for a few seconds. (Be gentle!)
Here's an article with more exercises to ease bunion pain that may be helpful.
You knew we'd arrive here. Some people consider surgery the least desirable scenario. Surgery is something most of us would rather avoid. But removing bunions via surgery can be the most effective way to ease the pain. We don't want you to be in constant pain because you feel like surgery is an extreme route.
Remember, we're concerned with helping you preserve an active lifestyle. So what if none of these other methods help to ease bunion pain? That's the time to reach out to an experienced surgeon to go over your options. He'll have an idea if surgery is right for you, based upon the severity of your specific case.
Next time, we'll dig into the specifics of bunion surgery.
Good luck and stay healthy!