Bunion is one of the most common foot disorders. According to research 23 percent of people aged 18 to 65, and 36 percent of those older than 65 have bunions. If you are one of the tens of millions in America who suffer from bunions, do not despair. You are not alone. There are many non-surgical remedies you can use to treat your bunion. This article will tell you how.
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A bunion is a deformity of the joint that connects your big toe to your foot. Symptoms of bunions include:
- Big toe bending inward toward the other toes.
- A bulging bump on the outside of the joint that connects your big toe to your foot.
- Swelling and redness at that big toe joint.
- Pain at that joint. This pain may come and go or be persistent.
- Formation of corns or calluses where your big toe and second toe rub against each other.
- Limited movement of your big toe.
Bunion Risk Factors
Certain people are more prone to bunions than others:
- People who wear tight, narrow shoes
- People who wear high-heels
- People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis
- Women are 10 times more likely to have bunions than men
- People with family members who suffer from bunions. Bunions can be passed down from parents to children
Bunions occur when some of the bones in your foot shift out of place. This results in the tip of your big toe bending toward your other toes, forcing the joint at the base of your big toe to stick out. As a consequence, that joint becomes deformed, red, and painful.
While the exact cause of bunions is still unclear, some proposed theories include:
- Wearing shoes with narrow toes or high heels can trigger bunions by repeatedly squeezing feet into a narrow space.
- Certain types of foot (shape, bone structure, tendon structure, etc.) are naturally susceptible to bunions. This is why bunions run in families, as foot types can be inherited.
- Foot injuries or birth deformities of foot can also trigger bunions
While surgery is the last resort for bunions, there are many natural, non-surgical remedies for bunions.
In this article we will look at exercises and massages for bunions you can do at home, as well as shoes and correctors for bunions you can buy without prescriptions.
Exercises for Bunions
- Toe Curl: Sit in a chair. Put your affected foot in front of you. Point your toes straight forward for 5 seconds. Then curl your toes slowly toward the bottom of your foot. Hold position for 5 seconds. Relax. Repeat 10 times.
- Toe Lift: Put your affected foot on the floor. Lift the toes on that foot off the floor one after another. Repeat 4 times.
- Rubber Band Toe Stretch: Put a rubber band around all 5 toes on your affected foot. Spread your toes to stretch out the rubber band. Repeat 4 times.
- Foot Rotation: Rotate your affected foot clockwise 10 times. Then rotate it counterclockwise 10 times. This is 1 set. Do 4 sets each day.
- Marble Pickups: Put a cup on the floor. Put several marbles on the floor next to the cup. Using the toes on your affected foot only, pick up the marbles from the floor and then drop them into the cup.
Massages for Bunions
- Ball Massage: Sit in a chair. Put a tennis or golf ball under your affected foot. Lean forward to put pressure on the ball. Slowly roll the ball up and down your foot. Then roll it side to side. Gradually increase the pressure on the ball as you roll it. Roll ball for about 1 minute.
- Big Toe Stretch: Using your hand, gently pull your affected big toe into proper alignment with your foot. Hold position for 10 seconds. Repeat 4 times.
- Toe Pull: Sit in a chair. Take a toe in your hand. Gently pull it upward. Repeat for all 5 toes on your affected foot.
- Ice Massage: Take an ice cube in your hand, rub it directly on your bunion and its surrounding area in a circular motion. Keep rubbing for 5 minutes. You might want to wear a glove to protect your hand from the cold. Also make sure you don’t get frostbite on your foot.
- Toe Rub: Spread the toes on your affected foot. Insert fingers into the spaces between your toes. Move your fingers up and town to rub your toes.
Right Shoes for Bunions
As we have explained, shoes with narrow toes or high heels can trigger bunions by repeatedly squeezing your feet into a narrow space. So avoid those shoes.
Instead, go with shoes with a low heel (no more than 1 inch) and enough room in the front to accommodate your bunion. Many people have experienced significant improvement on bunions simply by wearing the best shoes for bunion. Other helpful items for bunions include:
- Bunion Pads: These gel-filled pads are cushion to your bunion. Make sure your sandals and shoes have enough room to accommodate the pads.
- Orthopedic Shoe Inserts: These inserts are designed to correct the joint displacement that triggers your bunion. They stabilize the big toe joint and other bones in your feet and take pressure off your bunion. Once again make sure your shoes have enough room to accommodate them.
- Bunion Sandals: These are specially designed to treat bunions while you are wearing them. Just like the orthopedic shoe inserts, these sandals correct the joint displacement that triggers your bunion and stabilize the big toe joint and other bones in your feet. They can be found in shoe stores and online.
Orthopedic Bunion Corrector
There are multiple types of orthopedic bunion correctors you can choose:
- Bunion splint: These splints cushion your bunion and try to press your big toe back into alignment.
- Toe spacers: These slip over your toes to separate them and make sure they do not overlap. The spacers also work to realign your big toe while protect your bunion.