That bump on the outside of your big toe that causes pain is called a bunion. What causes it? Doctors don't know for sure what the cause behind bunions is. It could be hereditary, posture or shoes.
The truth of the matter is that once you have one, why it appeared really doesn't matter. The question, now, is how to treat it. As long as your bunion isn't creating great discomfort or getting in the way of your regular, everyday activities, you may be able to slow down the progression of the bunion and keep from needing surgery through using some of these simple home remedies.
1. Good shoes. One of the best ways to help treat the pain and discomfort of bunions on your own is by wearing good shoes, according to Medical News Today. Wear shoes that are wider in the toes to accommodate the bunion and shoes that have proper support. WebMD recommends stretching shoes to fit comfortably over the bunion.
2. Pads. WebMD recommends using bunion pads or arch supports to help take stress off the big toe and redistribute your weight more evenly on your foot. You can purchase both gel and moleskin pads at most drugstores.
3. Inserts. If pads aren't quite doing the job, the Cleveland Clinic says you can have either a custom orthotic insert created or buy an over-the-counter shoe insert. The purpose is simply to get the foot positioned correctly so your weight isn't all resting on the big toe.
4. Weight. Another recommendation by the Cleveland Clinic is to control your weight. Often, with the onset of bunions and the pain they create, people give up exercising and start putting on weight. The added weight makes the bunion even more painful. Find a form of exercise that doesn't stress the foot and work hard at maintaining a healthy weight. Swimming can be a great form of exercise for bunion sufferers.
5. Heat and ice. If your foot swells because of the bunion, Medical News Today recommends using ice to help take down the inflammation. Conversely, the Cleveland Clinic also recommends using warm soaks and whirlpools to help alleviate the pain and discomfort.
6. Avoid. Unfortunately, bunions mean that some activities simply need to be avoided. Forms of exercise or activities that pinch the toes or create pain as you are doing them need to be eliminated according to WebMD. This doesn't mean becoming a couch potato; you simply need to alter the forms of exercise and activity to match your limitations.
7. Exercise. Top 10 Home Remedies says to exercise the foot to help relieve pain and discomfort and keep the toes flexible. You can roll a tennis ball or golf ball under the foot where the bunion is forming for five to 10 minutes a day, working out the muscles and keeping the tendons flexible. Standing and curling your toes for 10 seconds and the releasing them is another easy exercise. Repeat that one several times throughout the day.
8. Painkiller. When the discomfort is really bad, WebMD says you can take some acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin.
If you don't have bunions yet, be sure to choose your shoes wisely and take good care of your feet. If you're a bunion sufferer, maybe these tips will give you the relief you’re looking for.