A bunion is an inflammation of the joint connecting the big toe to the foot. It forms a knob of bone on the outside of the toe that can thicken, pushing the big toe and other toes out of alignment. It could be a hereditary condition, or it could come from wearing tight, narrow and high shoes. Treatment for bunions includes wearing roomy shoes, using protective pads, prescription shoes and surgery.
Take an over-the-counter analgesic such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve bunion pain. If these aren't effective, your doctor may prescribe a medication to control swelling and reduce inflammation.
Place a protective pad or splint on the bunion to cushion it from pressure. These are available at pharmacies and department stores.
Place ice in a plastic bag wrapped in a thin towel and apply it to the bunion for 10 minutes. Let the toe rest for 10 minutes and then reapply. Repeat this process two more times. Do this three times a day as needed.
Crush four aspirin tablets and mix the powder in a bowl of warm water. Soak your foot for about 15 minutes, then rub the bunion with castor oil. Cover it with a bandage to keep the oil from sliding off. Castor oil is thought to soften bunions.
Stretch your legs out on the floor, heels together, and place a 3-inch-thick rubber band around both toes. With heels together, move your toes apart to form a V, hold for 20 seconds and then release. Repeat 20 times or as many times as you can.
Wear roomy shoes that support the natural alignment of your feet. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons also suggests having your shoes stretched out professionally.
See an orthopedic doctor for custom-made orthotic inserts. These will relieve and prevent pain and keep the bunion from growing.
Consider surgery if nothing else works. Bunionectomy, or bunion surgery, should be the last resort after you have worn custom-made inserts for at least five months.
Things you need
- Pain medication
- Rubber band (3 inches wide)
- Custom-made inserts
- Roomy shoes
- Bunion pads or splints