Millions of people worldwide live with bunions, making them one of the most prevalent foot ailments in the world. Bunions become even more common as we age, with most patients being over the age of 45. While not life-threatening, bunions can be highly uncomfortable and severely limit mobility. Removing bunions completely requires a surgical procedure. However, bunion self-care at home can greatly reduce the discomfort caused by your bunions. While there is no home remedy for getting rid of bunions, you can improve your quality of life while dealing with bunions.
What Is A Bunion?
A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the base of the big toe, caused by displaced foot bones. In addition to a large bump on the side of the foot, bunions also cause the big toe to become pointed inward. Bunions can cause significant discomfort and limit the mobility of the toe joint. They can also cause swelling and the development of calluses. At their worst, calluses can also become painful enough to affect mobility. Though less common, smaller bunions can also form on the base of the pinky toe.
Bunion self-care can reduce the pain and swelling caused by bunions but does not remove the bunion. One of the most common means of bunion self-care is bunion correctors.
What Does a Bunion Corrector Do?
A bunion corrector is a wearable brace-like device that provides support for your foot. When worn, a bunion corrector helps correct the positioning of the big toe. This provides relief from pain and also reduces stress on the foot.
While bunion correctors are not effective at eliminating bunions, they are effective at reducing discomfort. Wearing a bunion corrector routinely can also slow the progression of your bunion.
Bunion correctors are just one form of at-home bunion self-care remedy used by patients. Bunion correctors are meant to be worn at night or while resting. In combination with other at-home bunion remedies, these can greatly reduce the level of pain caused by bunions. Perhaps the simplest and first step toward bunion self-care is changing the style of shoes you wear. Flat shoes with wide toes provide more space and relief for bunions.
Soaking your feet in warm water is another common remedy for bunions. Again, this does not treat the underlying causes or remove bunions. But soaking your feet can provide tremendous relief and reduce inflammation. Similarly, applying ice can provide pain relief and reduce swelling in the feet. Either of these options is especially useful after prolonged periods of standing or walking when your feet are already sore.
Another at-home bunion remedy recommended by some doctors is foot exercise. Weakened foot muscles can lead to greater pain and trouble walking, especially if you are dealing with bunions. If you have bunions, your doctor may provide some simple foot exercises to help you manage the pain and strengthen your feet. For instance, lifting your toes while keeping the rest of your foot flat on the ground can improve foot strength.
How To Get Rid of Bunions
While bunion-self care can greatly reduce your discomfort when living with bunions, they do not remove bunions entirely. As for how to get rid of bunions, the only options are surgical procedures. The exact nature of bunion removal surgery will depend on the severity of the bunion. Most bunion operations are minimally invasive, and minor procedures usually last an hour or less. There may also be a lengthy recovery time following bunion surgery to allow your foot to heal fully. But the relief and mobility you will experience afterward are always worth the wait.
To discuss your bunion treatment options, or book a consultation, contact Diablo Foot & Ankle today.
Common Podiatry Questions
What is a Podiatrist?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the foot and ankle.
What does a Podiatrist treat?
A podiatrist is a doctor who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the feet. They can treat conditions such as ingrown toenails, fungal toenails, bunions, hammertoes, and plantar fasciitis.
What’s the difference between a Podiatrist and Orthopedist?
A Podiatrist and Orthopedist are very similar to each other in many ways. They use most of the same tools and treat a lot of the same conditions. The main difference between the two is their medical training. Podiatrists are trained exclusively on the foot and ankle, whereas the Orthopedic is trained on the whole body with an additional year of training on the foot and ankle.