Natural Cure for Bunions Without Surgeries
What is a bunion? It is a quite common foot problem. Mayo Clinic describes a bunion as a bony bump that develops on the joint right at the big toe’s base. A bunion or hammertoe forms when the big toe is pushed against the next toe. Due to this pressure, the big toe’s joint gets bigger and sticks out. The area turns red and can be painful. Smaller bunions are called overlapping toes or bunionettes. They can form on the little toe joints.
The symptoms and signs of bunions
Commonly, bunions grow slowly, eventually getting more painful. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) distinguishes these signs and symptoms of a bunion:
- The big toe’s base gets swollen and enlarged;
- You will probably notice a growing hard enlargement, also called a bony bump, at the big toe’s side (where it meets the foot);
- The big toe will face inward more than usual towards the smaller toes;
- Severe big toe pain from the inner part of the entire joint;
- Pain while wearing specific shoes that are tight around the toes;
- Feeling restricted while walking.
The symptoms of a pinky toe bunion are identical.
What causes bunions?
One of the most common bunion causes is wearing narrow or tight shoes. Other factors causing the formation of bunions are:
- an inherited structural defect.
- family history of bunions.
- regular stress on your foot.
- a medical condition like arthritis.
- malformation and inflammation of the big toe joint.
- an abnormality of the big toe’s bone.
- excessive pronation (turning inward) of the ankles.
- excessive running or exercising.
- osteoarthritis that can cause bone spurs on the toes.
Who is more inclined to have bunions?
According to the statistics given by the AAOS, bunions are one of the most common foot problems that can develop in:
- Teenagers and young adults.
- People with an autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.
- Both women and men can have bunions, but women tend to have these foot problems more often, because ladies usually wear more constricting shoes.
- Adults over the age of 65 years (more often than any other age group).
- 2% of children under 10 years old.
- People who spend a lot of time on their feet, like dancers or athletes.
How to treat bunions medically
Commonly, health care specialists recommend that people who suffer from severe bunion pain to have a special surgery called a bunionectomy. The goal of a bunionectomy is to prevent more serious foot problems that can occur down the line and are caused by a bunion, like bursitis. During the surgery, a doctor will return the toe to its correct position by putting the bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves as they should be. The bony bump will be removed.
The risks of such surgery include the dorsiflexion of the foot. This side effect can cause a reduction in range of motion that may affect athletic or dance abilities.
Interesting facts are provided by the AAOS:
- There are 150 different types of bunion surgery;
- Healthcare specialists insist on a bunion surgery if the symptoms last over a year;
- Only 35% of all patients with bunions need surgery.
Homemade bunion treatment
For a hammer toe relief, here are 3 simple homemade remedies:
When there is a sharp bunion pain, consider applying an ice pack few times throughout the day. Each time, hold an ice pack on the swollen joint for 20 minutes. While holding the ice pack, you can to elevate your foot and massage it with any anti-inflammatory natural oil – like olive, peppermint or frankincense oils.
Castor oil is a well-known home remedy thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. People with bunions can use this oil for quick, natural pain relief. At first, you need to warm the oil. Dip a clean cloth in it and place the compress on the bunion. Cover the cloth with a towel to keep the oil warm.
Epsom salts can reduce inflammation and pain caused by bunions. Add some Epsom salts to a bath with lukewarm water. Soak your feet for 20 minutes. The pain will start slowly to go away. Repeat daily.
Foot health and bunion relief: what footwear do you need?
The shoes for people with bunions should:
- Be lightweight;
- Have little or no arch support;
- Have little to no heel;
- Have a flexible design.
The shoe size should be correct. Wearing too small of shoes will probably cause foot problems in the future, including bunions. Give preference to wider shows that do not press on the toes.
According to the AAOS recommendations, people with bunions should avoid too short, tight, or sharply pointed shoes. Women may consider replacing high heels that are higher than a couple of inches with flats.
How to relieve bunions daily: lifestyle tips
- Stretch your feet if you feel that your toes are stiff. Do simple stretching exercises like rolling the toes over a tennis ball, flexing and unflexing them, and massaging in hands. To do more complex stretching, point the toes straight ahead for 5 seconds and curl them under for 5 seconds.
- Avoid risky activities. The American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons recommends avoiding activities that may potentially cause increased pain, burning and swelling of the toes. Particularly, standing and running for long periods should be avoided.
- Buy an over-the-counter bunion splint with a gel-filled pad at any local drugstore. Some doctors advise wearing the bunion splints at night to ease pain while sleeping.
- Instead of an expensive bunion brace, you may use shoe inserts to position the foot correctly.
- Small bunion cushions will help you survive throughout a day, especially if you need to stand a lot at work.
- Buy a special bunion corrector for daily use. This works by redistributing the pressure away from the affected toe joint.
If you can’t stand the pain from bunions on your feet, take one pill of Ibuprofen and visit a doctor. Keep in mind that all the above-mentioned remedies and devices will deliver temporary relief for serious bunion problems. Sometimes a bunion surgery is inevitable.