Bunion is a term for those large and unsightly lumps next to our large toe on our foot. They are actually a sign of inflammation in the joint and can be caused by a myriad of things, from lifetime of wearing high heels or simply from walking. Bunions are never pleasant nor comfortable.
Years of motion and pressure on the joint forces the big toe to bend toward the others, which causes an often-painful lump on the outside of the joint. Why this happens to your big toe in particular is because it carries the majority of your weight while walking and enjoys the full force of gravity.
You may also have bunions if you have arthritis, and women are more likely to develop them than men.
The symptoms and signs of bunions include:
If you have a bunion, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a podiatrist who can advise.
But in the meantime, you could try one or some of these below natural remedies to reduce the size of the bunion – without surgery.
1. Maintain a normal weight
This goes without saying but if you are overweight, these extra kilos could be contributing to your bunion issue as the more pressure, the more it will hurt.
2. Olive oil
Warm some olive oil and massage the bunion, toes and lower foot for 15 minutes twice a day to enhance circulation and increases the blood flow to the foot and toes. Moving the fluid will make the joints easier to move and help to decalcify the bunion.
It sounds like a no brainer but ice is great for reducing swelling on your bunion especially if you’re waiting for a podiatrist appointment. Apply ice for 10 minutes several times a day.
4. Epsom salts
Epsom salt contains magnesium sulphate which minimises inflammation and pain. If your bunion is causing discomfort, simply dissolve half a cup of Epsom salt into a small tub of hot water and soak your foot into it for 20 minutes, twice a day. You can also massage your bunion whilst it is soaking.
If you want a top notch solution to your bunion issues, get yourself some chamomile. It has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties that will reduce the swelling and pain of your bunion. You’ll be wanting to drink chamomile tea a couple of times a day, but don’t discard the tea bags because you can also place them directly on your bunions (warm is best).
6. Toe stretches
Stretching out your toes can help mobilised and offset foot pain. To stretch your toes, point your toes straight ahead for 5 seconds and then curl them under for 5 seconds. Repeat these stretches 10 times, three times a day.
Turmeric contains capsaicin which can help to relieve inflammation and reduce pain as well. To see benefits of this remedy, dissolve one teaspoon of turmeric in glass of water and drink. If you don’t like the taste, you can topically apply turmeric to your bunions and leave overnight.
8. Wear the right shoes
It goes without saying that the right shoes will make all the difference to the comfort and appearance of your feet. However, if you are suffering from bunions, you want to pay even closer attention to the shoes you’re putting on because the wrong ones can inflame the symptoms and make healing take longer.
You want shoes that have a deep and wide area for toes, which will eliminate any rubbing or pressure on your bunion. Consider using a padded shoe insert that will evenly distribute the pressure around your foot when you move. Put those high heels with the pointy toes to one side for the time being — you won’t be needing them unless you want your toes to move in an abnormal fashion. Avoid wearing tight fitting socks or stockings.