Bunions are common yet most painful foot ailments most people suffer from. If you grieve from bunion pain, and if your doctor has suggested surgery, then the only option to ease the pain is to hold just right there as we have a tremendous news for you.
According to Dr. Ray McClanahan, a podiatrist from Poland and an influential leader in traditional foot care treatments, most foot ailments can be cured naturally by restoring their natural function. Dr. Ray has invented the ‘Correct Toes’, over-the-counter toe spacers that can get rid of innumerable toe-related problems(1).
What are Bunions?
Bunions are large bumps protruding out at the base of the big toes (It looks like as if the bigger toe pointing towards the second toe). The scientific term of the condition is called Hallux Abductovalgus.
- Know the Causes of Bunions
Well, many factors can trigger this condition; most common includes abnormal motion or putting pressure on your big toe to bend it in. Traditional shoes which women wear (that looks small and has pointy edges) could be the primary cause for bunions.
Fashionable men’s and women’s shoes that has tapered toe boxes push the big toe towards the smaller ones and raised heels with arch supports also are common contributors in bunion development. Wearing these kinds of shoes seriously deforms the big toe where it starts to bend and grow towards the second toe.
When this happens, the bone where the bunion occurs tends to push out, exactly like how a see-saw moves. When one side goes up another comes down. Similarly when upper bone of the toe is pushed in, the lower bone is pushed out by force.
Genetics, arthritis, limb length inequalities are few other causes of Bunions.
Usually in countries where flip-flops and barefoot walking is a routine, toes are usually wide apart from each other and bunion is less likely to occur. In western countries where stilettoes and raised heels are a daily fashion, the ball of the feet is quite wide and bunion is a common problem.
Symptoms of Bunions
Symptoms include pointed base of the big toe. As it progresses, the affected area may turn red and cause bursitis or blisters and even callus formation over the bunion. Overtime, the nerves would start getting damaged which can cause numbness or sharp pain. If a bunion is untreated, the pain can spread to the joints.
Bunions are common in women than in men. (Yes, those high heels are your foe).
Treating Bunions Without Surgery
Bunions are permanent; yeah that’s the saddest part. Unless it is removed surgically, you cannot get rid of them. But, Dr. Ray and another podiatrist, GeorgeanneBotek, DPM, Head of the Section of Podiatry and Medical Director of Cleveland Clinic’s Diabetic Foot Clinic say that there are some measures that can slow down a bunion’s progress and make you comfortable.
People with flexible joints have higher level of tolerance of their bunion pain. So, the question is how can you lower the pain effectively and stop the bunion growth.
One of the best ways is diagnosing the abnormal growth at the very beginning and changing lifestyle accordingly. Changing the footwear is the immediate remedial measure you need to adopt.
Wearing fitting and comfortable shoes that are low-heeled and provide plenty of toe space (Shoes that have wider front part) are great for feet.
7 Ways You Can Get Rid of Bunion Pain and Pressure on Toe
Below are seven ways to get rid of bunion pain:
- Reduce you weight if you’re obese or overweight. Obese people who wear raised heels tend to develop bunions faster than others. Your full body pressure will be on those tender toes. Imagine what you would be doing to the bone? Maintaining a normal weight will put less pressure on your toes and heels
- Buy Moleskin or gel fitted pad and tape it around the bunion like a bandage. They are self-adhesive tapes that hold the pad in place. The pads can be easily worn and fit inside all types of shoes. They are available in Amazon or in any local drugstore
- Simple massaging that comprises of a range of exercises could be an effective and relaxing treatment for bunions. The massage shown in the video retrains toe muscles to move toe to their natural position
- Wearing paddings such as shoe inserts help positioning foot correctly. They are called arch supporters. You can buy them over the counter or get one prescribed from your doctor
- You can also try a doctor prescribed splint. Splints are movable toe holders or toe separators specially designed for bunion feet. They relieve you from foot pain and come along with gel cushion support. Wearing them at night or whenever you are at home relaxing, to hold the toe straight can help a lot
- If you are suffering from terrible pain, redness and swelling, you can take non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
- Use warm socks or ice packs to ease discomfort
- Wearing a well fitted shoe will considerably reduce bunion effects and pain. What are the things to remember while buying a bunion friendly shoe?
- Measure your foot size correctly. Ask store staff to do so
- Buy shoes that are flat heeled and have a comfortable support
- Choose a show with wide toe boxes that lets your toe to spread
- Buy shoes that have little or no arch support
- Don’t buy heavy shoes. Go for flexible and light weight designs instead
Treatment Options – When to Seek Doctor?
When your bunion is causing unbearable pain, your doctor would suggest a surgery called Bunionectomy. The doctor would remove partial bulging of metatarsal bone and realign the joints with force during the surgery.
Bunions can cause other painful foot problems such as bursitis, hammertoes, bunion in the inside edge of the little toe and pain in the balls of the feet.
Doctors will prescribe orthotic arch support and cushioned shoes until the pain eases and the toes are realigned.
If the conditions that caused bunions to form do not change, there are chances of bunions returning after surgery.
So, make sure you make conscious efforts to keep your feet happy and moving.