Bunions are those bony bumps that occur at the base of your big toe. They make the joints in this part of the foot swell and enlarge.
The biggest problem with them is not their unpleasant appearance, but the pain and discomfort they cause while walking or even standing.
The most common cause of bunions is wearing tight, uncomfortable shoes and high heels that restrict the blood flow in toes. This, in turn, reduces the normal range of toe’s motion. After a while, this can misplace the big toe joint and make it swollen.
So, even though your bunion can start as small, it can grow larger very quickly, especially if you’re not wearing comfortable or wider shoes.
Therefore, it’s important to treat them early to prevent your bunion from becoming large and painful. In severe cases, your shoes might become too painful to wear.
Still, these bony bumps can occur due to genetics. Nevertheless, if you have bunion for any reason, you’ll want to know how to treat it to prevent it from becoming larger.
Unfortunately, you can’t reverse it without a surgery, but there are natural treatments that can stop it from further growth and relieve its symptoms.
Here are the things you can do at home to ease the bunion pain and stop it from further growing.
10 HOME REMEDIES AND TREATMENTS FOR BUNIONS
1. FOOT EXERCISES
Stretching the toe joints can relax the foot muscle, thus increasing the toe flexibility and reducing your joint pain.
You can try simple foot stretches like flexing and unflexing your toes, interlacing your fingers between them to help you do that. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes every day.
Another great foot stretch you can do is using a tennis ball. Just roll it beneath the mounds of your toes for 5 to 10 minutes daily.
2. WEAR WIDER SHOES
Replace your tight shoes with roomy, comfortable shoes that provide enough space for your toes. This will remove the stress from your big toe, improve your blood flow and range of motion, thus allowing it to heal faster.
It’s time to say goodbye to your high heels too, at least for those higher than 2¼ inches.
3. USE PADS OR SHOE-INSERTS
You can get over-the-counter bunion pads and ask your doctor to assist you with placing them properly. Wearing shoe inserts will redistribute the pressure away from your aching joint.
However, make sure you buy shoe inserts that don’t constrict your toes even more, but rather reduce the pressure.
4. ICE PACKS
Ice therapy is really helpful for relieving joint pain and inflammation, especially after being on your feet for too long. The cold temperature will help ease the pain and discomfort by numbing the nerve endings.
Hold a bag of crushed ice wrapped in a towel on the affected area for 5 to 10 minutes. After a 10-minute rest, repeat the treatment two or three times. Do this procedure as needed.
Regular foot massages help improve the blood flow in that area, relaxing the muscles and reducing the unpleasant symptoms. What’s more, it’ll reduce the bunion size and prevent corns and calluses.
Do deep-friction massage using some warm coconut, olive, or castor oil and. Massage with your fingers for ten minutes, twice a day.
6. EPSOM SALT
If the reason for your bunion is arthritis, you can try treating it with an Epsom salt foot soak. Epsom salt contains high levels of magnesium which help balance the body’s pH levels. This, in turn, helps reduce inflammation and pain in the body.
Soak your feet in a bath filled with warm water and a handful of Epsom salt until cold. Then, dry your feet thoroughly and rub them with some warm coconut or olive oil. Massage gently. Do this technique up to three times weekly.
The pain-blocking ability of curcumin – turmeric’s active compound, makes this spice excellent for treating bunions.
Mix half a teaspoon of this spice with some olive oil and make a paste to rub it topically onto the aching area. Do this twice a day, or sometimes even more often, for a period of several days.
The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile help ease pain and inflammation connected to bunions. What’s more, it can even reduce the size of it.
One way to use it is to place a used chamomile tea bag onto the aching bunion. For even better results, drink the tea made from the tea bag before using it. As an alternative, you can use some warm chamomile essential oil to massage the aching area before sleeping.
This would also prevent corns and calluses from forming.
9. ASPIRIN FOOT SOAK
Use a regular aspirin to reduce the pain and discomfort connected to bunions, as well as to prevent the formation of corn and calluses.
Soak your feet in warm water with 2 or 3 dissolved aspirins until it turns cold. Pat dry and use some warm olive oil to massage your feet. Do this once or twice per day to relieve pain.
Note: Aspirin might cause an allergic reaction to some people, so make sure you do a patch test before trying it out.
10. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY FOODS
The food you eat can help reduce or increase pain and inflammation. Therefore, it’s very important to be careful what you eat, especially when dealing with bunions. You should consume more foods with anti-inflammatory properties, and avoid those which promote inflammation.
Good examples of foods with anti-inflammatory properties are garlic, ginger, turmeric, strawberries, tart cherries, walnuts, salmon, olives, and sweet potatoes.
On the other hand, foods that contribute to inflammation include processed meat, red meat, eggs, refined sugar, refined grains, refined salt, corn oil, and whey protein. Make sure you stay away from these foods.
You can use any of these natural ways to treat mild to a moderate bunion. If, however, your pain and swellings become severe, you might need to consult a doctor and take painkillers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Along with them, don’t forget to rest, and place ice on the affected area.