Bunions develop when the tissue or bone at the bottom of the big toe is displaced. The big toe takes a lot of weight and pressure while walking. Thus, bunions can be very painful. The growth can make the joint stiff and make it difficult for the patient to wear shoes. Some of the ways in which bunions can be managed are:
1Wear Proper Footwear
Avoid wearing flip-flops and stilettoes. Wear shoes that have proper arch support and reduce the pressure put on the big toe joint. The shoe should fit correctly with a wide toe area and a heel that is between 1 to 2 inches wide. Do not choose shoes only on the basis of shoe sizes. Shoes from different companies may be sized differently and thus, you should pay more attention to what fits comfortably. You could also wear inserts in your shoes for better support.
2Stretch Your Toes
Moving your toes around can reduce stiffness and relieve pain in the bunion. From time to time, take your shoes off and wriggle your toes. You can also use toe spacers at night or while you’re wearing shoes to reduce pressure on the toes.
Soaking your feet in warm water can soothe the bunion and reduce inflammation. Inflammation can also be reduced by icing the foot with an ice pack. In addition, the patient may need to take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This will help reduce inflammation and pain.
4Pamper Your Feet
Keep the feet elevated for as long as possible during the day. If you’re standing for a large portion of the day, take frequent breaks to rest your feet. You should also cushion the bunions. Moleskin or bunion pads can be used for this to relieve the pressure and the chances of friction between the bunion and shoes. Massaging the foot and big toe manually can also help. While you are sitting, you may want to roll your foot over a tennis ball.
5Exercise the Feet
Weak muscles in your feet can cause pain and trouble walking. Strengthening the foot muscles with exercise can relieve pain in bunions. An easy way to do this is to lift your toes up while the foot is suspended in the air. Hold for a few seconds and release. You could also spread the toes apart and try moving the big toe towards the inside of the foot. The exercises can be performed while the patient is standing or sitting.
If the bunion is very painful and shows no signs of improvement, surgery may be recommended. This is aimed at relieving pain and returning the big toe to its correct position by moving the bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves into their correct positions.
Bunions can develop because of the way a person walks, the type of shoes they wear or underlying conditions like arthritis. It is essential to follow the aforementioned tips to help relieve the pain.