You've been dealing with a growing bony bump on your big toe for weeks, and today you’ve reached the limit. It used to be a minor nagging ache at first, but now you can barely walk without wincing in pain. You want to get rid of it completely, but you're short on time and you just don’t have the budget for surgery.
As a result, you search for over-the-counter treatments so that you can go on with your daily routine with minimal pain. Good news! There are various ways to try and see if they can help ease your bunion pain. From foot exercises to wearing bunion products such as bunion straighteners, we have outlined a 5-step guide for your bunion dilemma.
Technically, a bunion becomes a permanent condition if it's not corrected through surgery. However, the severity level depends on the individual. For some, there are non-surgical treatments that can help slow down the progression and reduce the pain of a bunion. Here are five podiatrist-approved approaches for bunion pain relief.
Performing regular foot exercise helps keep your feet healthy. It relieves pain and increases mobility and strength. Naturally, these exercises have a significant impact on your bunion problem. What are these foot or toe exercises you can try to slow down the bunion's progression?
These exercises include: toe points, toe curls, toe spread-outs, toe circles, towel grip and pulls, marble pickups, barefoot walks at the beach (if possible), and heel raising. You may explore more toe-specific or foot exercises to maximize your approach.
Wear Proper Shoes
Ill-fitting shoes are one of the primary causes of foot problems, including bunions. Tight and narrow footwear such as high heels can cause pressure that leads to swelling, blistering, and direct pain on the growing lump. You don't have to stop wearing certain shoes, but find a pair that fits you well.
For example, go to stores that allow foot measurements to ensure you get an appropriate and comfortable size. Find footwear with plenty of space for the toes or those without heels to avoid adding pressure on your foot.
Use Toe Straighteners, Spacers, Pads, or Splints
There are over-the-counter devices that you can stick on or wear around your foot or toe to help relieve bunion pain. Some of these include toe straighteners, toe spacers, gel bunion pads, and toe splints. They only differ in structure and placement. If you can't figure out which one to use, you may consult your podiatrist for a recommendation.
Toe straighteners or separators function as their names suggest: by preventing the big toe and the second toe from leaning against each other. You can wear them with shoes, but something like bunion splints must be worn every night instead. Overall, these devices provide immediate pain relief.
Keep a Healthy Weight
Too much weight only adds pressure on your feet, eventually worsening the severity of your bunion. Remember, a healthy weight offers advantages in various aspects of your health, including bunion pain relief.
Practice eating healthy meals and performing regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and minimize pressure on your feet. The lack of excess or uneven pressure prevents the progression of your bunion.
Practice Proper Foot Care
Last but not least, learn how to pamper your feet properly. Once in a while, give it a well-deserved rest after a long and exhausting day. Soak them in warm water, use ice packs, and give them a good whirlpool bath or a foot massage at night.
By doing this, you are lowering the risk of getting bunions or slowing down its progression. Most importantly, you can do more things pain-free and to the best of your abilities.
When over-the-counter devices and exercises no longer work, it's time for surgery. According to experts, if bunion pain persists for over a year, patients should consider talking to their doctor. The problem with a bunion is that it can cause other foot problems as it worsens. You may develop conditions such as bursitis, pain in the balls of your feet, hammertoes, and bunionettes.
Surgery will relieve the foot pain, correct the metatarsal position, and eliminate the sore lump. Don't let the quality of your daily life be severely affected by a foot problem. Try everything we've outlined above and seek surgery when necessary.
Bunions aren't easy to deal with, but you don't have to handle all the pain alone. When you feel it getting in the way of your simplest activities, address it as soon as you can using the different methods we recommend. Dealing with it today is better than letting it grow, making things even more difficult for you.
Suppose you've read through this blog and realize it's the first time you've heard about toe splints, straighteners, and pads. Where to buy toe splints, pads, or straighteners? What are the best bunion splints, pads, and spacers? What are the best-rated bunion splints and straighteners? We figured you might have these questions in mind, so feel free to explore more of our articles to get your toe questions answered.